Jacksonville, Fla. – Behind a career-high-tying 17 kills from Jordan McNeill and fourth set offense from Jamila Johnson, Furman volleyball downed USC Upstate 3-1 (25-22, 21-25, 25-19, 25-22) on Friday afternoon in the Paladins' first game of the UNF Invitational. The win moves Furman to 2-5 on the year, while the loss drops the Spartans to 1-7.
McNeill's 17 kills led all players, while Nicole Mack added 15 kills. Hunter Thompson dished out 51 assists and added 14 digs, while Jamila Johnson put down eight kills, including seven in the fourth set, and added 14 digs. Meg DeMaar turned in a game-high 21 digs, while Thompson and Carris Campbell each added three blocks.
After Furman took the first set 25-22, the teams played a tight set two until USC Upstate used a 5-0 run to put it away, 25-21, and tie the match at one. The teams again traded points early in set three, but with the score tied at 13, Furman used a 5-1 run to take an 18-14 lead. The Paladins held the six-point advantage the rest of the set, taking it 25-19 for a 2-1 match lead.
USC Upstate jumped out to a 10-4 lead in the fourth set, before McNeill served the Paladins on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 10-9. The teams then traded points until Upstate opened a 21-18 advantage. Furman responded with a 5-0 run to take a 23-21 lead, holding on to take the set, 25-22, and the match, 3-1.
Furman is back in action tomorrow, taking on New Mexico at 10:00 a.m. and matching up with North Florida at 7:00 p.m.