CHARLESTON, S.C. – Senior Chandler Ambrester hit .381 with 11 kills and seven digs to lead the Furman volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-17, 25-20, 25-18) victory over USC Upstate at the Willie Jewell's Invitational Saturday morning in Charleston, S.C.
The Paladins jumped out to a quick 10-4 lead in the opening set then maintained the lead throughout the set, on their way to a 25-17 win. The teams were evenly matched at the beginning of set two, battling to an 8-8 tie before the Paladins went on a 4-0 run to begin to pull away. Furman led 23-17 when the Spartans scored three-straight points to cut the margin to three points at 23-20, but the Paladins answered with a kill from freshman Amelia Bohlander and a service ace by junior Amanda Komisarow to take a 2-0 set lead at the break.
Again the teams battled through several ties to open set three. Following a 6-6 tie, the Paladins went on a 5-1 run to open up the set. USC Upstate came within three points of Furman at 17-14, but two key kills from Komisarow and a block by junior Christina Dorismond put the Paladins back in control of the match at 20-14. Furman went on to complete the sweep, 25-18.
"Our play was much more organized today," said Paladin head coach Michelle Young following the win. "Our offense was much sharper, and we did a better job of controlling the whole match. We were able to get a lot of players some playing time this match, which is always good early in the season."
Junior Natalie Braun was just one kill shy of a double-double, posting nine kills and a team-high 12 digs. Freshman Jo Wilks paced the Paladins with 39 assists and eight digs. Komisarow tallied six kills, while freshman Amelia Bohlander and senior Caroline Adams each added five kills.
USC Upstate (2-3) was led by Emily Bingham, who tallied 12 kills. Emily Sanders recorded a team-high 24 assists plus nine digs, while Morgan Page led the Spartan defense with 14 digs.
Furman (6-1) will face host Charleston Southern Saturday at 7 p.m. to conclude the tournament.