CHATTANOOGA, TENN. – Sophomore Chandler Ambrester recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 20 kills and 15 digs to lead the Furman volleyball team to a 3-2 (25-17, 24-26, 20-25, 25-19, 17-15) come-from-behind victory at Chattanooga Sunday afternoon.
Furman used a .426 first-set attack percentage to jump out to an early lead with a 25-17 win. The two teams then battled through 11 ties in the second set. Chattanooga took a 24-21 lead before the Paladins reeled off three-straight points off back-to-back kills by sophomore Caroline Adams and a kill by sophomore Natalie Braun to tie the match at 24-all. The Mocs capitalized off two Furman hitting errors to win the set 26-24 and tie the match at one set apiece at the break.
Chattanooga built a 16-12 lead in the third set before Furman won five-straight points ignited by two kills by Ambrester to take the lead at 17-16. The two teams were tied at 17 and 18 before the Mocs went on a 7-2 run to end the set at 25-20 and take a 2-1 set advantage.
Furman rebounded in the fourth set to build an early 10-5 lead. Junior Alexis Shaffer recorded two kills as the Paladins won five-straight points later in the set to take a 20-13 lead. The Mocs were unable to come within six points the rest of the set as Furman took a 25-19 win to even the match at two sets apiece and force a deciding fifth set.
The two teams were tied four times early in the fifth set before Chattanooga built a 10-7 lead. Shafer and Ambrester each posted kills to bring the Paladins within one point at 10-9, but the Paladins were unable to take the lead. With the Mocs at match point at 14-12, Furman took advantage of a Chattanooga service error and a kill by senior Katherine Hall to tie the match at 14-14. The two teams were again tied at 15-15 before a kill by Shaffer and a hitting error by the Mocs gave Furman the 17-15 fifth-set victory.
Junior Kelly Kirby posted her 15th double-double of the season, leading the Paladins with 51 assists while adding 14 kills, nine digs and three service aces in the contest. Braun had 12 kills and 13 digs for her 10th double-double of the season. Shaffer had 16 kills and a team-high four blocks in the Furman win, while Hall and Adams each added 13 kills. Freshman Elle Ross recorded 17 digs for the Paladins.
Megan Ernd led Chattanooga (9-17, 4-6 SoCon) with 20 kills, while Heather Parman added 18 kills for the Mocs. Bailee Chastain recorded 52 assists, and Paula Passmore had 29 digs in the loss.
Furman (13-9, 7-3 SoCon) will continue its four-match road swing Thursday when the Paladins play at Georgia Southern at 6 p.m.