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Furman Falls to Pacific, 3-1, in Season Opener

Furman Falls to Pacific, 3-1, in Season Opener

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.

Seniors Taina Joseph and Annie Bierman each put down 10 kills for Furman, with Bierman recording her first double-double of 2016 (10 kills, 18 digs). Ashton Stocker dished out 31 assists, while freshman Nicole Mack put down eight kills and eight digs. Junior libero Meg DeMaar added 23 digs and the Paladins out-dug the Tigers 71-66.

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).