Greenville, S.C. – Fueled by a set two comeback win, Furman volleyball defeated Mercer, 3-0 (25-20, 30-28, 25-22) on Saturday night in Alley Gym. The win moves Furman to 2-0 early in the SoCon schedule (8-4 overall), while the loss drops the Bears to 0-2 in the SoCon and 4-9 overall.
Annie Bierman led the Paladins with 12 kills and 19 digs for her eighth double-double of the season, while Amelia Bohlander put down 10 kills and a .500 hitting percentage. Jo Wilks dished out 33 assists and turned in 10 digs, while Taina Joseph added a team-high five blocks.
Mercer was led by Emily Krogman and Morgan MacGilvary with eight kills each, while libero Tori Penrod turned in a match-high 20 digs.
Mercer opened up a 14-12 lead in set one before Christen Sikora served Furman on a 5-0 run for a 17-14 lead. Mercer cut the lead to one at 17-16, then again at 19-18, but the Paladins closed out the set on a 6-2 run for a 25-20 set one win and 1-0 match lead.
The Paladins opened up a 7-2 lead in set two, forcing Mercer to use its first timeout. The Bears pulled within one out of the timeout at 8-7, but Furman pushed the lead back to three at 13-10. Mercer then used a 7-1 run to take a 17-14 lead, but the Paladins rallied to tie the match at 22 after a Bears' service error and Annie Bierman kill. Mercer had its first set point opportunity with the score at 24-22, but the Paladins again rallied to tie the set at 24. The teams then traded points until Mercer took a 28-27 lead and Furman capitalized on two Mercer errors and a Bierman kill to complete the comeback and take set two, 30-28, for a 2-0 match lead.
The teams traded points in set three until Furman used a 4-0 run to open up a 17-14 lead over the Bears. Mercer and Furman continued to trade points until Furman got a kill by Sikora and a block by Bierman to stretch its lead to three at 22-19 and force a Mercer timeout. Furman had its first set-point opportunity at 24-20, but Mercer got a kill from Paige Alsten to cut the lead to three at 24-21, then used a block to cut the lead to two at 24-22. Furman would not be denied, however, and Bierman put down her 12th kill of the match to take the set, 25-22, and the match, 3-0.
Furman is back in action on Wednesday as the Paladins travel to Cullowhee, N.C., for a midweek matchup with Western Carolina.