Greenville, S.C. – Furman volleyball hits the road this weekend, continuing Southern Conference play at Mercer and Samford. The Paladins (12-7, 6-0 SoCon) will take on the Bears in Macon, Ga., on Friday night at 6:00 p.m., before taking on the Bulldogs in Birmingham, Ala., on Saturday evening at 8:00 p.m. (ET).
Furman is coming off another 2-0 weekend in conference play, downing both Western Carolina and UNCG in Alley Gym, after topping The Citadel 3-1 in a midweek contest in Charleston, S.C. The Paladins hit .336 as a team and had four-players with double-digit kills in a 3-1 win over Western Carolina on Friday night. Jamila Johnson put down 20 kills and hit .341 to lead Furman, while Courtney Hoffman put down 13 kills and a .550 hitting percentage. Nicole Mack set another career high with 16 kills, while Gabby Howard added 13 and a .435 hitting percentage. On Saturday, Furman hit .254 to down UNCG, 3-1.
Meg DeMaar was named the league's Defensive Player of the Week, after recording 61 digs and 26 assists in 12 sets. DeMaar opened the week against The Citadel with 14 digs and 11 assists for her first double-double of the season. Back in Alley Gym, the Glen Ellyn, Ill., native anchored the Paladins' defense, turning in performance of 22 and 25 digs in 3-1 wins over both Western Carolina and UNCG. DeMaar ranks second in the SoCon with 4.56 digs per set on the season (328 total).
Mercer comes into the weekend at 7-12 on the year and 2-5 in SoCon play. The Bears dropped a 3-1 decision at Samford on Wednesday night, despite Morgan MacGilvary's eighth double-double of the season along with a career-best 23 digs. Paige Alsten leads the Bears in kills on the season with 251.
Samford (9-12, 4-3 SoCon) comes into the weekend after a 3-1 win against Mercer. Samford's Krista Boesing led the way with 21 kills, while sophomore Kelsi Hobbs added 14. The Bulldogs' Grace Tiesman notched a match-high 34 digs. Boesing entered the contest ranked No. 7 in the nation in total kills and No. 11 in points. As a team, the Bulldogs are ranked in the top 50 in the nation in assists (No. 36 – 918), service aces (No. 45 – 105), kills (No. 47 – 959) and digs (No. 48 – 1,177).
Live stat and video links can be found on FurmanPaladins.com. Friday's match will not be streamed, but Saturday's match at Samford will be show on the SoCon Digital Network. Fans can also follow @FurmanVB on Twitter for periodic match updates.