CHARLESTON, S.C. – Senior Chandler Ambrester recorded a double-double and paced the Paladins with 15 kills and 18 digs as the Furman volleyball team picked up a key 3-1 (25-22, 25-19, 26-24, 25-20) Southern Conference victory over rival College of Charleston, who was previously unbeaten in league play, Sunday in Charleston.
The Cougars built a 4-0 lead in the opening set before the Paladins reeled off eight-straight points behind strong service from Ambrester for an 8-4 advantage. College of Charleston tied the match at 9-all, and the teams battled back and forth until a kill by Ambrester tied the match at 17. A 7-0 run that included three-consecutive kills from senior Caroline Adams gave the Paladins match point at 24-17, but the Cougars answered with five-straight points of their own to slice the lead to 24-22. A final kill from Adams sealed the 25-22 Furman set victory.
Furman jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead in set two and maintained the five-point advantage at 12-7. The Paladins stretched the lead to eight at 20-12, en route to a 25-19 set win to lead 2-0 at the break.
The teams battled through 17 ties in the third set. The College of Charleston led 23-21, but a Cougar attack error, coupled with a kill from Paladin junior Christina Dorismond knotted the teams at 23. The Cougars had set point following a Furman hitting error, but the Paladins again evened the score at 24 off a kill by senior Natalie Braun. Darcy Dorton posted a kill to give the College of Charleston it second set point, and the Cougars' Sloane White recorded a key service ace to clinch the set.
The Cougars appeared to be in control in set four, leading 10-7 before the Paladins claimed four-straight points for an 11-10 advantage. College of Charleston then put together an 8-3 run to reclaim the lead at 18-14, but Furman answered with a 6-0 run of its own to lead by two, 20-18. The Paladins began to break away after consecutive kills from Adams and Braun, coupled with a block by the senior duo, gave Furman a 23-19 advantage. Following a Paladin service error, Adams and senior Christina Curry notched back-to-back kills for the 25-20 win.
Braun tallied a double-double, her 14th of the season, after recording 15 kills and 11 digs. Adams led the Paladins with a .483 attack percentage, while adding 15 kills and five block assists, and Curry hit .471 with 10 kills in the win. Freshman Jo Wilks had a team-high 50 assists, and junior Elle Ross captured 17 digs in the contest. Rookie Caitlyn Scioscia added nine additional digs for the Paladins.
"We really needed to win today to stay in the hunt for the division championship," said Paladin head coach Michelle Young following the victory. "The girls showed a lot of determination. We played steady throughout the match, and it paid off with a big win on the road."
Dorton led the College of Charleston (13-6, 5-1 SoCon) with 19 kills, and Emily Shelton had a team-high 23 digs for the Cougars. Taeler Davis posted a double-double with 43 assists and 15 digs.
Furman (15-5, 4-2 SoCon) returns home to face Western Carolina Friday at 6 p.m. in Alley Gymnasium.