GREENVILLE, S.C. -- The senior trio of Carolyn Nicoletti, Kelly Kirby, and Alexis Shaffer recorded 20 kills and 23 digs collectively to lead the Furman volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-21, 25-12, 25-9) win over Davidson Saturday night in Alley Gymnasium, completing an undefeated home season. Nicoletti posted 14 digs, while Kirby hit .391 with 10 kills and 17 assists. Shaffer paced the Paladins with a .429 attack percentage and tallied 10 kills.
Furman held a slim 9-7 lead early in the first set when the Paladins went on a 9-3 run to push the advantage to 18-10. Davidson trimmed the lead to five points at 23-18 before a kill from junior Caroline Adams gave the Paladins match point. The Wildcats put together three-straight points to slice the lead to 24-21, but a kill by sophomore Christina Dorismond sealed the 25-21 set win for Furman.
The Paladins led 5-4 to open the second set then scored on four-consecutive points to break open the match. Furman built a 16-7 lead and went on to a 25-12 victory to take a 2-0 set lead at the break. In the third set, Furman led 6-3 before the Paladins went on a 9-0 run to build a 15-3 advantage. The team held control of the match, posting a 15-9 win in the final set.
"Davidson has been upsetting some really good teams, so we knew we would have to play hard to defend our home turf against this team, and we came away with a great win," said Kirby following the match. "This is a great end to a great home season. After putting in four years of hard work, it's bittersweet to celebrate Senior Night, but we hope to come out on top next weekend, which will be more sweet than bitter."
Junior Caroline Adams hit .625 with 10 kills and eight block assists in the match, while junior Natalie Braun paced the Paladins with 20 assists and 23 digs and hit .300 with nine kills. Junior Christina Curry added seven blocks for Furman.
Caroline Brown led Davidson (15-13, 5-10 SoCon) with eight kills, while Ariel Ley added 22 assists. Molly Crenshaw paced the Wildcat defense with 19 digs.
Furman (20-8, 13-3 SoCon) will compete at the Southern Conference Tournament Nov. 19-21 at the Pete Hanna Center in Birmingham, Ala. The quarterfinal matches will take place on Nov. 19 beginning at 10 a.m. (#2 South vs. #3 North), match two at 12:30 p.m. (#1 North vs. #4 South), match three at 4:30 p.m. (#1 South vs. #4 North), and match four at 7 p.m. (#2 North vs. #3 South). All game times and matchups may change should Samford elect to play in the 7 p.m. game.
The semifinal matches will be held on Nov. 20 at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. The Southern Conference Women's Volleyball Championship will conclude on Nov. 21 with the championship match at 6 p.m. The championship match will be featured on ESPN3.