AUBURN, ALA. – Furman volleyball fell to Pacific in its season opener on Friday, 3-1, in the first game of the War Eagle Invitational in Auburn, Ala. After falling in an 0-2 match hole, the Paladins rallied to take set three, before falling in a very competitive set four.
The teams traded points in set one, until Pacific used an 11-3 run to take a 16-8 lead and force the Paladins to take an early timeout. Out of the timeout, the Paladins used a 6-3 run, sparked largely by Taina Joseph and Jamila Johnson, to cut the Tigers' lead to five at 19-14. Furman and Pacific then traded points for the rest of the set, with the Tigers winning 25-18 for a 1-0 match lead.
Pacific used a 7-2 run in the second set to open up a 14-6 lead over the Paladins. The teams traded service errors to give the Tigers a 17-8 lead and force Furman's first timeout of the set. Following the timeout, Pacific used another 5-1 run to push the lead to 22-9, eventually winning the set 25-12 to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Furman came out on a mission in set three, using a 3-0 run to take a 10-7 advantage. After a Paladin service error, Furman then used a 7-0 run to push the lead to 17-8 and force Pacific to take both of its timeouts. The teams then traded points until Furman used a kill by Annie Bierman and a Pacific attack error to take set three 25-16 and cut the Tigers' match lead to 2-1.
Pacific opened up a 5-0 lead in set four, before the Paladins rallied to cut the lead to one at 6-5. The teams traded points and the Tigers then pushed the lead back to five at 15-10, before Hunter Thompson served five-straight points for Furman to tie the set at 15. The Paladins then grabbed a one-point lead at 17-16, then again at 19-18, before Pacific rattled off three-straight points to take a 21-19 advantage and force a Furman timeout. Following the timeout, the Paladins used back-to-back points to tie the set at 21, but Pacific ended the set on a 4-1 run to take set four, 25-22, and the match, 3-1.
Furman is back in action tomorrow, August 27, facing tournament-host Auburn at 1 pm (ET) and Georgia Tech at 6 pm (ET).