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The Citadel Stuns Furman in Five Sets on Sunday

Taina Joseph
Taina Joseph

CHARLESTON, S.C.  – The Citadel rallied from a 2-1 deficit to stun Furman on Sunday afternoon inside McAlister Field House, taking the match 3-2. Moriah Smith put down 21 kills for the Bulldogs, who downed the Paladins for the first time in program history. The loss drops the Paladins to 8-12 on the year and 4-4 in SoCon play, while the win moves The Citadel to 8-15 on the year and 1-6 in SoCon play.

Taina Joseph led Furman with 17 kills and a .412 hitting percentage, while adding seven blocks. Jamila Johnson also put down 17 kills and added 14 digs for one of Furman's five double-doubles on the day. Jordan McNeill tallied a team-high 24 digs, while Annie Bierman put down 13 kills and 17 digs.

The Paladins jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the first set, then held the five-point lead at 15-10, before the Bulldogs cut the lead to two at 16-14. The Citadel then used back-to-back kills to tie the set at 18 and force a Furman timeout. The Bulldogs took their first lead of the set at 19-18 before the teams traded points and the Bulldogs took a 22-20 lead, forcing a Furman timeout. The Paladins couldn't hold off The Citadel run, dropping the first set 25-21.

Furman again opened a big lead in the second set at 10-4, forcing a Bulldog timeout. The Paladins held on to the six-point advantage as The Citadel took its final timeout of the set at 14-8. The Citadel cut the lead to three at 17-14, then the teams traded points until the Paladins used a 3-1 run to take the second set, 25-20, to tie the match at one.

The teams traded points early in the third set, until Furman jumped out to a 15-12 lead, prompting The Citadel to take its first timeout. The Bulldogs rallied to take a 17-16 lead, prompting a Furman timeout. The Bulldogs opened up a four-point advantage at 20-16, but Furman rattled off five-straight points to regain the lead at 21-20. The teams then traded points until Furman capitalized on two Citadel errors to take the critical third set, 26-24, for a 2-1 match lead.

Set four was just as close as the others from the opening serve, as the teams traded points until Furman called its first timeout, trailing 20-19. The Citadel opened a three-point lead at 23-20, then grabbed set point at 24-20. Furman cut the lead to one with back-to-back kills by Johnson and a bad set by The Citadel, but the Bulldogs held off the Paladin rally to take set four, 25-23, to force a fifth set.

The Citadel jumped out to a 6-2 lead in the final set, before the Paladins cut the lead to one at 11-10. The Bulldogs grabbed set point with a 3-1 run, but Furman used a Citadel error and a block to cut the lead to 14-13. The Paladins couldn't overcome the earlier slow start, however, falling in set five, 15-13, and 3-2 in the match.

Furman is back in action on Wednesday, October 19, traveling to Spartanburg, S.C. to face Wofford in a 7:00 p.m. match.