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Paladins Drop A Pair of Matches at Hampton Inn Rambler Challenge

Jordan McNeill
Jordan McNeill


Chicago, Ill. – Despite a career-high 17 kills from Jordan McNeill, Furman couldn't hold on to a two-set lead, falling to Marshall, 3-2 (25-23, 25-9, 21-25, 19-25, 8-15) on Saturday evening, after falling 3-0 to Loyola Chicago on Saturday afternoon. The win moves Marshall to 3-3 on the year, while the loss drops the Paladins to 0-5. 

McNeill turned in the best game of her career, with 17 kills and 13 digs, while adding two blocks and an ace. Courtney Hoffman, Neci Harris and Jamila Johnson each put down seven kills, while Johnson added 18 digs. Meg DeMaar turned in a game-high 20 digs, while Hoffman turned in a team-high six blocks.

The teams traded points in the first set until Marshall jumped out to a 20-17 lead and forced the Paladins to call a timeout. Furman rallied with a 5-0 run to take a 22-20 lead, but Marshall responded to tie the set at 22. The Paladins used back-to-back kills from Jordan McNeill and Jamila Johnson to grab set point at 24-22 and held off a Marshall rally to take the first set, 25-23, for a 1-0 match lead.

After a kill by Courtney Hoffman got things started, Hunter Thompson served the Paladins on a 9-0 run. Marshall got a kill from Sarah Schank to try to end the Furman early-set dominance, but the Paladins responded with a 5-0 run to push the lead to 14-2. The teams traded points until Thompson served the Paladins on another big run, pushing the lead to 23-7 and eventually taking the set, 25-9, for a 2-0 match lead.

It was Marshall that used a 7-0 run in the third set to open a 12-7 lead on the Paladins and force Furman to call a timeout. The teams traded points until the Herd pushed the lead to six at 20-14 and held the six-point advantage until Furman used back-to-back points to cut the lead to three at 24-21. The Herd held on, however, taking the third set 25-21, to cut Furman's lead to 2-1.

Marshall opened an early lead in the fourth set and the Paladins couldn't come closer than five, as the Thundering Herd held on to take the fourth, 25-19, and send the match to a deciding fifth set.

The Herd took a 10-4 lead in the fifth set and never looked back, downing the Paladins 15-8 for a 3-2 match win.

Marshall was led by Ciara Debell with 16 kills, while Amber Weber added a game-high 27 digs.


Furman Falls to Loyola Chicago, 3-0

Chicago, Ill. – Furman volleyball fell in three tightly-contested sets to Loyola Chicago on Friday afternoon in Chicago. The win moves the Ramblers to 2-2 on the year.

The Paladins were led offensively by freshman Madison Gresham with 12 kills and 10 digs for her first-career double-double, while Nicole Mack put down seven kills and a team-high 11 digs. Freshman Neci Harris added four kills and a team-high four blocks.

Loyola was led by Quinn Spieker with 11 kills and 15 digs and a .429 hitting percentage. Alex Nunez added 11 digs and Elle Van Grinsven tallied a match-high five blocks.

The teams traded points early in the first set, until Meg DeMaar served the Paladins on an 8-0 scoring run to take a 14-7 lead. The Ramblers cut the lead to three at 15-12, but Furman responded with a 5-1 run to push the lead to 20-13. Loyola responded with a 6-1 run of its own, cutting the lead to two at 21-19 and forcing the Paladins to call a timeout. The Paladins pushed the lead to three out of the timeout, but the Ramblers again responded, this time rallying to tie the set at 22. The Ramblers continued their run, grabbing set point at 24-22 before the Paladins rallied to tied it at 24. Loyola continued to hold the momentum, however, and used back-to-back kills to take the first set, 26-24, for a 1-0 match lead.

Furman used an early 4-0 run in the second set to take a 12-11 lead, but the Ramblers responded with a 4-0 run of their own to regain a three-point advantage at 15-12. The Paladins rallied to tie the set at 15, but Loyola again held the momentum and Furman couldn't pull any closer than one, dropping set two, 21-25, allowing Loyola to take a 2-0 match lead.

Loyola and Furman again traded points to start the second set, until Meg DeMaar served the Paladins on a 4-0 run to give Furman the 10-9 lead and force a Rambler timeout. The teams traded points out of the timeout until the Ramblers used a 5-0 run to open a 21-16 lead. The Paladins cut the lead to one at 22-21 after back-to-back kills by Jordan McNeill and a block by McNeill and Harris, but the Ramblers used back-to-back points to grab match point at 24-21. The Paladins pulled to within two at 24-22, but Loyola held on to take the set, 25-21, for a 3-0 match win.

Furman is back in action tomorrow, September 1, taking on Georgia State at 1:00 p.m. (ET) in the Paladins' Hampton Inn Rambler Invitational finale.