Greenville, S.C. – Down six points in set three, Furman volleyball showed resilience and rallied to take set three, 26-24, to complete the sweep of Mercer (25-17, 25-18, 26-24) on Saturday, Senior Day in Alley Gym. The win pushes the Paladins to 19-6 overall and 12-2 in SoCon play, while the loss drops Mercer to 10-18, 5-9 in SoCon play. The Paladins finish out the home portion of 2014 at 8-1, 7-1 in Alley Gym.
Senior Andrea Fisher led the way for the Paladins, putting down a team-high 18 kills, just one error, and a season-high .607 hitting percentage, adding two service aces and a block. Ashton Gregory again hit in double figures for Furman, putting down 13 kills, a .385 hitting percentage and a team-high three blocks. Meg DeMaar turned in a team-high 10 digs, while Jo Wilks dished out 37 assists. Senior Katie Harrell also added two digs in her final game in Alley Gym.
The teams traded points early in set one, before Furman used six-straight points to take a 13-6 lead. The teams then traded points until the Paladins stretched the lead to 17-9, forcing Mercer to take its second timeout of the set. The teams continued to trade points, until the Paladins opened their biggest lead of the set at 22-13. Mercer cut into the lead at 23-16, but the Paladins held off the Bears' rally, taking set one, 25-17.
The teams again traded points in set two, before, with the Paladins up 5-4, Furman rattled off nine straight points to take a 14-4 lead. The Bears cut the lead to seven at 16-9, but Furman added to the lead, stretching it to 20-11. The teams then traded points before Mercer used three-straight to cut into the Furman lead at 24-18. An Annie Bierman kill ended the Mercer threat, giving the Paladins a 25-18 set two win, and a 2-0 match lead.
It was Mercer who opened up a big lead in set three, forcing Furman to take its first timeout of the match with the Bears leading 11-6. The Bears continued to add to their lead, pushing it to 16-8, prompting Furman to take its final timeout of the set. The Paladins clawed their way back into the match out of the timeout, cutting the Bears' lead to four at 16-12. The teams traded points until Furman cut the Mercer lead to two at 21-19, forcing Mercer to call its final timeout. The teams traded points until Mercer had set point at 24-21. Furman used a kill by Ashton Gregory to cut the lead to two at 24-22, then rattled off four-straight points, including two Gregory kills and a Payton Frappier ace to finish out the rally and take set three, 26-24, and the match, 3-0.
Furman is back in action next Friday night as they travel to Birmingham, Ala., to face Samford in an 8:00 pm (ET) match.