MISSOULA, MONT. – Texas Tech snapped the Furman volleyball team's eight-match winning streak Saturday, handing the Paladins a 3-2 (25-15, 21-25, 25-19, 16-25, 15-12) defeat at the Best Western Grant Creek Inn Invitational.
Furman built a slight 4-3 lead in the opening set before the Red Raiders claimed five-straight points to grab control, en route to a 25-15 set victory. The Paladins answered in the second set, breaking open a 20-20 tie by winning five of the final six points to tie the match at one set apiece.
Furman took a 5-2 lead in set three before Texas Tech scored nine-consecutive points to put the match out of reach, as the Red Raiders led 2-1 in sets following a 25-19 win. The Paladins came out determined to even the score in set four, leading virtually wire-to-wire for the 25-16 victory.
The teams were tied at four in the decisive fifth set before a 7-2 run put the Red Raiders up by five. The Paladins came within three points at 13-10, then a kill by senior Chandler Ambrester cut the deficit to two at 14-12, but a final kill by Emily Ehrle sealed the 15-12 victory for Texas Tech.
Ambrester led the Paladins with 23 kills, while freshman Amelia Bohlander recorded a team-high .476 attack percentage with 11 kills. Senior Natalie Braun added a double-double with 19 kills and 14 digs, and junior Elle Ross paced the Paladin defense with 18 digs. Rookie Jo Wilks collected 57 assists and seven digs in the match-up, and senior Caroline Adams recorded four block assists and two solo blocks.
Ehrle led the Red Raiders (9-1) with 23 kills, while Rachel Brummitt notched 20 digs in the victory. Miara Cave and Meghan Stacy each added 11 kills, and three additional Texas Tech players were in double-figures for digs.
Later in the day, the Paladins suffered a 3-1 (25-22, 25-19, 21-25, 25-22) loss to Towson in the final match of the tournament. Braun, who represented Furman on the all-tournament team, recorded her seventh double-double of the season after leading the Paladins with 15 kills and 12 digs in the match-up. Ambrester added 13 kills, while Adams and junior Christina Dorismond each tallied 10 kills. Wilks posted 44 assists to lead Furman.
Towson (8-3) was led by Katy Buck, who notched 15 kills. Paige Sekerak led the Tigers with 11 digs, and Alysha McCreary added six block assists.
Furman (9-3) returns home to face Presbyterian Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Alley Gymnasium.