Greenville, S.C. – Despite four Paladins finishing with double-digit kills, Winthrop held off a Furman rally to down the Paladins 3-1 (20-25, 25-13, 30-32, 20-25) on Friday night inside Alley Gym. The win moves the Eagles to 4-8 on the year, while the loss drops the Paladins to 4-7.
Nicole Mack, Madison Gresham, and Carris Campbell each finished with 13 kills, while Gresham and Mack also finished with 12 and 10 digs, respectively. Hunter Thompson dished out a season-high 50 assists while turning in a team-high 20 digs.
Furman jumped out to an early 9-5 lead in the first set, but Winthrop used a 7-1 run to take a 17-15 advantage. The teams traded points, but the Paladins couldn't get any closer than two, as Winthrop took set one, 25-20, for a 1-0 match lead.
Winthrop called a quick timeout in set two, as Furman used three-straight points to take a 5-2 lead. The teams traded points until Furman used a 4-0 run to open a 14-7 lead, forcing the Eagles to take their final timeout. The Paladins held their momentum out of the timeout, pushing the lead to 16-7 before Winthrop cut the lead to 16-9. The teams traded points until Furman got a kill from Carris Campbell to take set two, 25-13, tying the match at one.
The teams traded points early in the third set, until a kill by Nicole Mack capped off a 6-2 Furman run to give the Paladins a 14-13 lead, forcing the Eagles to call a timeout. Furman later used three-straight points following a Winthrop yellow card to take a 19-15 lead, prompting the Eagles to use their final timeout of the set. Winthrop came charging back, however, using a 4-1 run to cut the Furman lead one at 20-19. Furman pushed the lead to two at 23-21, but the Eagles rallied to tie the set at 23. Furman had set point at 24-23, then again at 25-24, but Winthrop used back-to-back points to take a 26-25 lead, prompting the Paladins to call their final timeout. The teams traded points until Winthrop used back-to-back points to end the marathon set with a 32-30 win, taking a 2-1 match lead.
Winthrop took an early 5-1 lead in set four, before the Paladins rallied to cut the lead to one at 9-8. The Eagles maintained the lead, pushing it to 17-12 before forcing Furman to call a timeout. Out of the timeout, the Paladins used a 7-2 run, capped off with a kill by Mack to tie the set at 19 and force the Eagles to call a timeout. Winthrop then finished the set on a 6-1 run, taking set three 25-20, and the match, 3-1.
The Eagles were led offensively by Jace Kleffner with 22 kills, while Carlie Skelton added 20 digs and Makayla Doyle tallied six blocks.
Furman is back in action on September 21, opening SoCon play at Samford in an 8:00 p.m. (ET) match.