Greenville, S.C. – Jo Wilks set a new school-record in career assists and Furman downed Western Carolina, 3-1 (25-8, 24-26, 25-15, 25-13) on Saturday in Alley Gym. The win moves Furman to 16-6 on the year and 10-2 in SoCon play, while the loss drops Western Carolina to 10-19 and 4-9 in SoCon play.
Wilks came into Saturday's contest needing just five assists to set the school record and finished the game with 54 assists, adding four aces and 12 digs. Annie Bierman led the Paladins with 18 kills, while Jamila Johnson set another new career-high in kills with 17, while also hitting .571. Meg DeMaar turned in a team-high 20 digs and Amelia Bohlander added 11 kills and three blocks. The Paladins out-hit the Catamounts .344-.137 and put down 68 kills to Western Carolina's 33.
The Paladins came out on fire in the first set, hitting .615 as a team and putting down 16 kills with no errors. Jo Wilks served Furman on a 6-0 run to start the set, then Annie Bierman served ten-straight to push the Paladins' lead to 17-1 and force a Western Carolina timeout. Out of the timeout, Furman pushed the lead to 20-2, before the Catamounts used a 5-2 run to cut the lead to 22-7. Furman capitalized on Western Carolina errors to take the set, 25-8, for a 1-0 match lead.
It was Western Carolina that jumped out to the early lead in set two, opening up an 8-1 lead before Meg DeMaar served Furman on a 5-0 run to cut the Catamount lead to 9-6. Furman then used three-straight points to tie the set at 10, before the teams traded points until Western Carolina again opened a three-point lead at 19-16 and forced a Paladin timeout. Out of the timeout, the Paladins used a 6-0 run to take a 22-19 lead, but the Catamounts rallied to fight off set point at 24-22, then tie the set at 24, and win the set 26-24 to tie the match at two.
Furman again jumped out to an early lead in set three, opening up a 15-5 lead that Western Carolina could not overcome. The teams traded points and Furman used back-to-back kills by Annie Bierman to take set three, 25-15, for a 2-1 match lead.
Set four was all Furman, as the Paladins opened up a 17-5 lead, forcing Western Carolina to take both of its timeouts. Out of the timeout, the Catamounts cut the lead to 18-9, but the Paladins finished the match on a 7-4 run to take the fourth set, 25-13, and the match, 3-1.
Furman is back in action on Friday, November 6, traveling to Birmingham, Ala., for a 6:00 pm matchup with Samford.
Chandler Carver, Sports Information