Jacksonville, Fla. – Madison Gresham put down a career-high 18 kills and Furman volleyball downed tournament-host North Florida 3-1 (24-26, 25-19, 25-19, 25-18) on Saturday night in Jacksonville, Fla., en route to a 3-0 weekend and tournament win. The win moves the Paladins to 4-5 on the year, while the loss drops the Ospreys to 2-8.
Gresham put down a match-high 18 kills, while adding 10 digs. Jamila Johnson notched 11 kills and a season-high 20 digs, while Meg DeMaar turned in 28 digs on her way to being named to the All-Tournament team. Hunter Thompson, tournament MVP, dished out 47 sets and adding five kills and nine digs. Carris Campbell put down 13 kills with just one error and added a team-high four solo blocks, as the Paladins out-blocked the Ospreys 9-6 on the day.
After UNF used four-straight points to win the first set 26-24, Furman opened up a quick 5-1 lead in the second set and forced the Osprey's to call a timeout. The Paladins pushed the lead to 11-4, but North Florida rallied to cut the lead to two at 12-10. The teams traded points until Furman used four-straight points to push the lead back to seven at 21-14. UNF cut the lead to four at 23-19, but the Paladins got back-to-back kills from McNeill and Johnson to take the second set, 25-19, and tie the match at one.
North Florida opened an 11-4 lead on the Paladins in the third set, but a McNeill kill sparked an 8-0 Furman run to give the Paladins a 16-13 lead. North Florida ended the run on a Paladin error, but a Johnson kill started a 5-0 run the pushed the Paladins out to a 21-14 lead. UNF cut the lead to four at 23-19, but Furman used back-to-back kills from Courtney Hoffman and Madison Gresham to take the crucial third set, 25-19, for a 2-1 match lead.
The Paladins jumped out to a 15-8 lead in the fourth set, forcing UNF to call a timeout. Furman pushed the lead to nine at 18-9, but the Ospreys rattled off five-straight points to cut the lead to 18-14 and force the Paladins to call a timeout. Furman used three-straight points to regain a seven-point advantage at 21-14, then used kills from Gresham and McNeill to end it, 25-18, and take the match, 3-1.
UNF was led by Taryn Griffey with 13 kills, while Solimar Cestero put down 12. Madilyn McCarty dished out 37 assists and added 12 digs, while Asante Lopez turned in a team-high 18 digs.
The Paladins are back in action on Thursday, September 13, welcoming Appalachian State into Alley Gym for the 2018 home opener.