Atlanta, GA – Behind a career-high 26 kills and a .304 hitting percentage, Jamila Johnson led the Paladins past Georgia Tech in a five-set thriller in the first game of the day at the Hyatt Regency Georgia Tech Invitational. The win moves Furman to 1-1 on the season, while the loss drops the Yellow Jackets to 0-2.
Johnson also tallied 18 digs and two services aces on the afternoon, in a game that saw Georgia Tech jump out to a 1-0 lead, before Furman rallied back to take a 2-1 advantage. The Yellow Jackets rallied to take set four, 27-25, and the Paladins were able to outlast Georgia Tech, 22-20, in a marathon fifth set.
Hunter Thompson and Meg DeMaar each added a double-double for the Paladins, with Thompson turning in 47 assists and 18 digs, while also adding four service aces and three blocks. DeMaar totaled 22 digs and 12 assists on the day. Christen Sikora tallied 16 kills and nine digs for the Paladins, while redshirt freshman Courtney Hoffman put down 12 kills and added a team-high five blocks. The Paladins hit .223 for the match, including a blistering .412 in the fifth set.
After the Yellow Jackets took the first set, 25-15, the Paladins used a 10-4 run to open up a 15-12 lead. Georgia Tech cut the lead to one at 15-14, but Furman then rattled off eight-straight points to take a 23-14 advantage and held off a Georgia Tech rally to take set two, 25-20, and tie the match at one.
Down 23-18 in set three, Hunter Thompson led Furman to seven-straight points, including back-to-back kills, to close out the set, 25-23, and take a 2-1 lead in the match. The Paladins held match point at 24-23 in set three, but Georgia Tech rallied to win 27-25 and send the match to a deciding fifth set.
The teams traded points early in the fifth, until Furman opened up a 12-10 lead, prompting a Georgia Tech timeout. The Yellow Jackets tied the set at 12, before the teams continued to trade points until back-to-back points for Georgia Tech gave the Jackets the 17-16 advantage. The teams continued to trade points until a kill by Johnson and block by Hoffman and Nicole Mack gave Furman the 20-19 advantage. Georgia Tech tied the set at 20, but kills by Thompson and Sikora gave the Paladins the win, 22-20.
Furman is back in action Saturday evening, closing out the opening weekend with a 6:00 pm match against Auburn.