CHARLESTON, S.C. – Senior Kelly Kirby hit .556 and recorded a double-double as the Furman volleyball team blanked The Citadel 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-22) Friday night in Charleston. Kirby led the Paladins with 11 kills and 21 assists, as the team extended its winning streak to six matches with the win.
Furman jumped out to a quick 13-7 lead to open the first set, then extended the lead to 20-12. Following two Bulldog points, the Paladins went on a 5-2 run to end the set, nailing a 25-16 victory.
The teams battled through a close second set with The Citadel taking a 15-14 lead before the Paladins scored four-straight points to gain control of the set. After a Bulldog point cut Furman's lead to 18-16, the Paladins scored on seven of the last nine points to seal the 25-18 set victory and take a 2-0 lead at the break.
The Paladins led 12-8 in the third set when the Citadel scored four-consecutive points to tie the match at 12-all. Furman answered with four points of its own to lead 16-12 before the Bulldogs went on a 6-1 run to lead 18-17. The Paladins tied the match off a kill from senior Alexis Shaffer, then the teams fought through four additional ties to settle in at 22-22. Furman took advantage of a Bulldog ball handling error for a 23-22 lead, then back-to-back kills from junior Natalie Braun and Shaffer gave the Paladins the 25-22 win.
Braun tallied 20 assists in the match-up, while senior Carolyn Nicoletti led the Paladin defense with 21 digs. Shaffer hit .389 with five blocks in the victory.
The Citadel (7-20, 0-13 SoCon) was led by Rachael Farrell, who recorded 10 kills and 16 digs. Alexa Dahlstrom had 14 assists, while Erin Bucherl added 12 assists for the Bulldogs.
Furman (18-7, 11-2 SoCon) will play at the College of Charleston on Saturday at 2 p.m.