Laramie, Wyo. – Down two sets to one, Furman volleyball rallied to defeat Weber State, 3-2 (21-25, 25-12, 21-25, 25-20, 15-10), in the first game of the UniWyo Wyoming Invite on Friday night. The five-set match was Furman's sixth of the season and the win was the Paladins' fourth in a row. With the victory, Furman moves to 5-3 on the season, while Weber State falls to 2-6.
Ashton Gregory led the Paladins offensively, with 14 kills, while adding a career-high three aces. Annie Bierman turned in her fifth double-double of the season with 12 kills and 12 digs and Andrea Fisher tied a season high with 12 kills. Meg DeMaar turned in another double-digit kill match with 14, while Jo Wilks dished out 42 assists and Kasey Hohlen led the Paladins with four blocks.
The teams traded points in set one before Furman called a timeout, trailing 15-14. The Wildcats opened up an 18-14 lead, but the Paladins clawed back to cut the lead to one at 20-19. Weber State pushed their lead to three at 22-19 and held off the Paladins, 25-21, to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
With the score tied at seven in set two, Ashton Gregory served four-straight points to open up an 11-7 lead for the Paladins. After Weber State cut the lead to three at 11-8, Furman used a 9-4 run to push the lead to nine at 20-11. Payton Frappier then closed out the set, serving five-straight points (highlighted by two Andrea Fisher kills) and giving the Paladins a 25-12 set-two victory to tie the match at one.
Set three was another close one from the first serve, as the teams traded points until Weber State took an 11-9 lead to force a Furman timeout. The teams traded points most of the match until the Wildcats pushed their lead to three at 24-21, prompting another Furman timeout. Weber State held off the Paladins, 25-21, to take set three and a 2-1 lead in the match.
Weber State took an early lead in set four, before the Paladins rallied, tied the set at 10 and then took a 12-10 lead, forcing the Wildcats' first timeout. The teams then traded points until Furman took a 22-17 lead, forcing another Weber State timeout. The Wildcats clawed their way back to cut the lead to three at 22-19, but the Paladins were able to hold on and take set four, 25-20, to force a fifth.
Sparked by two Ashton Gregory service aces, Furman opened up an early 9-4 lead in the fifth set, forcing a Weber State timeout. The Wildcats cut the Furman lead to one a 9-8, but the Paladins closed out set five on a 6-2 run to win 15-10, and secure its' fourth-straight win.
Furman is back in action tomorrow as the Paladins face Gonzaga at 12:00 pm (ET) and tournament-host Wyoming at 9:00 pm (ET) in the UniWyo Wyoming Invite.