Cullowhee, N.C. – Behind 71 total kills, including a career-high 21 from Nicole Mack, Furman volleyball powered past Western Carolina, 3-1 (30-28, 21-25, 25-22, 25-21), on Saturday evening at the Ramsey Athletic Center. The win moves Furman to 18-9 and 12-2 in SoCOn play, while the loss drops the Catamounts to 10-17 and 5-9 in SoCon play.
Mack added a .370 hitting percentage and eight digs to her line, while Christen Sikora turned in 16 kills and 10 digs. Jamila Johnson added 14 kills and 16 digs, while Hunter Thompson dished out 57 assists and added 16 digs and six kills. Meg DeMaar out-dueled the Western Carolina back line, turning in a match-high 28 digs on the night.
The Paladins opened an early lead in set one before Western Carolina battled back to tie it at 11. The teams traded points until Furman pushed the lead to 19-16, but the Catamounts again battled back to tie the set at 20. The teams continued to exchange points, sending the set into extras, until Furman used a kill by Courtney Hoffman and an attack error by Western Carolina to take the marathon first set, 30-28.
With the second set tied at 21, Western Carolina closed on a 4-1 run to take it, 25-22, to tie the match at one set each. The Paladins grabbed a six-point lead to open set three and held the advantage until WCU used three-straight points to cut the lead to 24-22. The Paladins held off the Catamount rally, however, taking set three 25-22 for a 2-1 match lead.
The Paladins hit .417 as a team in set four, taking a nine-point lead at 20-11. The Catamounts rallied again, cutting the lead to one at 22-21, before Furman used three-straight kills to take set four, 25-21, and the match, 3-1.
Furman is back in action next weekend, hosting Mercer and Samford in Alley Gym for the final weekend of the regular season.