GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Senior Kelly Kirby and junior Natalie Braun each notched a triple-double to lead the Furman volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 25-12, 25-20) win over Georgia Southern Friday night in Alley Gymnasium. The win avenged a loss to the Eagles earlier this season in Statesboro.
The teams battled through a close first seat, ending up deadlocked at 20-all. The Paladins took advantage of a bad set by the Eagles, which put Braun on the service line, and Braun recorded a service ace to give Furman a 22-20 advantage. Following a kill from Georgia Southern's Meredith Paskert, the Paladins put together back-to-back-kills from senior Alexis Shaffer and Kirby to seal the 25-21 first set victory.
The second set was a replay of the first, with the teams settling into an 18-point tie before Furman reeled off three-straight for a 21-18 lead. The Paladins eventually led 24-20 following consecutive kills by sophomore Christina Dorismond, before a final kill from Kirby again gave Furman a 25-21 set win and a 2-0 lead at the break.
After a 7-7 tie to open the third set, Georgia Southern went on a 7-0 run to build a 14-7 advantage and put the set out of the Paladins' reach, taking a 25-12 set victory. Furman answered in the fourth set, leading from wire-to-wire. The teams were tied at 4-4 when the Paladins put together four-straight wins for an 8-4 lead. The Eagles trimmed the lead to one point at 14-13, before Furman went on a 10-7 run to take control of the set, 24-17. Georgia Southern made a last effort, scoring on three-straight points, before Braun recorded a kill off a Kirby set to take the set 25-20.
Kirby recorded 16 kills, 22 assists, and 16 digs in the win, while Braun added 11 kills, 29 assists and 12 digs. Senior Carolyn Nicoletti paced the Paladin defense with 25 digs, and sophomore Elle Ross added 13 digs in the match-up. Shaffer notched nine kills, and junior Caroline Adams collected nine kills and four blocks. Dorismond tallied eight kills and four blocks for Furman.
Georgia Southern (17-14, 9-6 SoCon) was led by Bethany Sanford, who recorded 13 kills. Paskert added 12 kills, and Kate Van Dyke led the Eagles with 39 assists, and Moriah Bellissimo collected 28 digs.
Furman (19-8, 12-3 SoCon) will conclude the regular season Saturday night when the Paladins entertain Davidson at 7 p.m. in Alley Gymnasium. Admission is free to the event, and the Paladins will honor the team's three seniors prior to the match.