Newark, Del. – The Furman volleyball team downed Sacred Heart, 3-1 (25-20, 18-25, 25-22, 25-15), on Friday afternoon in the first game of the Delaware Invitational. The Paladins move to 2-6 on the year, while the Pioneers fall to 4-3.
Ashton Gregory and Christina Dorismond again paced the Paladin offense, recording 11 and 10 kills, respectively. Gregory hit a team-high .421 and added nine blocks, while Dorismond hit .333 and added seven blocks of her own. Elle Ross recorded a team-high 21 digs, while Jo Wilks dished out 35 assists and added four blocks. Furman out-blocked Sacred Heart 16-7, including 26 block assists.
The first set was close from the start, with the teams trading points until Furman took a 19-16 lead. The Paladins took advantage of Sacred Heart attack errors to take a 23-17 lead, and finished out the match on a kill by Gregory. Gregory and Dorismond led the Paladin offense in set one, tallying five kills each. Furman hit a blistering .407 in set one, with only two attack errors.
Sacred Heart jumped out to an 8-4 lead in set two, before pushing their lead to six at 15-9, forcing a Furman timeout. A kill by Annie Bierman cut the lead to 15-10, but the teams traded points before the Pioneers pushed their lead to six at 21-15, forcing a second Furman timeout. The Paladins again went to Bierman out of a timeout to make the score 21-16, but Sacred Heart outscored Furman 4-2 to close out the set, 25-18, and tie the match at one set each.
Set three was tight from the first serve as the teams went back and forth until Furman was able to pull out to a 14-11 lead on a Gregory/Martha Robinson block and force a Sacred Heart timeout. The Pioneers cut the Paladin lead to two after the timeout and the teams traded points until the score was tied at 18. Furman pushed the lead to three at 21-18, but Sacred Heart again battled back to tie the score at 21. The Paladins, however, capitalized on crucial Pioneer errors to take set three, 25-22, and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Furman took a 4-0 lead early in set four behind a block by Amelia Bohlander and Ashton Gregory and kills by Bierman and Gregory. The Paladins kept the pressure on the Pioneers and stretched their lead out to seven at 17-10 after a 7-2 run. Sacred Heart was able to cut the Furman lead to six at 21-15, but Furman finished the match on a 4-0 run, highlighted by two aces by Jo Wilks, to win 25-15 and take the match, 3-1. The Paladins outhit the Pioneers .303 to .128 in set four, and out-blocked Sacred Heart, 5-0.
Furman returns to action tomorrow as they face Rutgers at 11:00 a.m. and tournament-host Delaware at 7:00 p.m. Live stat and video links can be found on FurmanPaladins.com