CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Junior Chandler Ambrester hit .450 with 10 kills as the Furman volleyball team blanked Morgan State, 3-0 (25-9, 25-16, 25-16), Saturday in the Paladins' opening match at the Hilton University 49er Tournament in Charlotte, N.C.
Furman notched an easy 25-9 victory in set one, but the Bears put up a fierce fight to open the second set. With Morgan State leading 9-8, the Paladins went on a 6-1 run to break open the match and take a 14-10 advantage. The lead remained at four until Furman put together a second 6-1 run later in the match for a 24-15 lead. A kill by Morgan State's Simone Durham gave the Bears one last chance, but a kill from sophomore Amanda Komisarow clinched the 25-16 set victory to give Furman a 2-0 lead at the break.
The Paladins built an early 12-6 lead in the third set. The Bears came within four points at 14-10, but Furman put the match out of reach when an 8-2 run gave the Paladins a 22-11 advantage. Morgan State scored four out of five points to slice the lead to 23-15, but a Bear service error and a Paladin block from senior Kelly Kirby and sophomore Christina Dorismond sealed the 25-15 win.
"We did not start our tournament very well last weekend, so we really wanted to be sharp coming out of the gate today, and we succeeded," said Furman head coach Michelle Young following the win. "I was happy with our level of execution in this match, plus it gave us an opportunity to tryout a different lineup. I hope we can carry this level of focus throughout the rest of the tournament."
Kirby paced the team with 14 assists, while junior Natalie Braun led the Paladin defensive attack with nine digs. Senior Alexis Shaffer hit a team-high .643, adding nine kills and no errors in 14 attempts.
Morgan State (2-6) was led by Ashley Johnson, who hit .321 with 12 kills. Jourdan Lemons had 23 assists in the match-up.
Furman (5-3) will face Campbell Saturday at 10 a.m. The Paladins will close out the day with a 7 p.m. match versus tournament-host Charlotte.