Greenville, S.C. – Furman's seniors combined for 43 kills, 73 digs and five blocks as the Paladins downed Western Carolina, 3-1 (25-23, 25-10, 20-25, 25-18) on Senior Night inside Alley Gym. The win moves the Paladins to 11-14 on the year and 7-7 in SoCon play, while the loss drops the Catamounts to 12-13, 6-8 in SoCon play.
Jamila Johnson turned in her best game of the year on senior night, putting down 22 kills, a .388 hitting percentage, and 17 digs to lead the Paladins. Senior Carris Campbell put down 10 kills and added five blocks, including four solo. Hunter Thompson put down two kills while added 50 assists and 14 digs, while Jordan McNeill added nine kills and 17 digs. Meg DeMaar tallied a season-high 34 digs, setting the Furman mark for digs in a four-set match, and became the first player in Furman history to record 2,000 career digs. Freshman Neci Harris also added 14 kills and two blocks for the Paladins, who out-blocked the Catamounts 7-4, put down 65 kills to Western Carolina's 48 and recorded 91 digs to the Catamounts' 74.
Furman used a 9-3 run to jump out to a 12-7 lead in the first set and force the Catamounts to call their first timeout. The Paladins pushed their lead to 17-9, but Western Carolina responded with a 7-2 run to cut the Furman lead to three at 19-16. The Paladins responded with a 4-1 run of their own to push the lead back to six at 23-17, forcing the Catamounts to call their final timeout of the set. Out of the timeout, Western Carolina used three-straight points to cut the lead to 23-20, prompting the Paladins to call a timeout to try to regroup. Furman grabbed set point out of the timeout, but the Catamounts clawed back to cut the lead to 24-23 and force Furman to call its final timeout of the set. Furman then used a kill from Jamila Johnson to end the Catamount comeback, taking set one, 25-23, for a 1-0 match lead.
The Paladins opened the second set on a 9-2 run and controlled the momentum through the set, pushing the lead to 16-7 and forcing the Catamounts to call their first timeout. Furman then used a 7-2 run out of the timeout to push the lead to 23-9, prompting WCU to take its final timeout of the set. The Catamounts cut the lead to 23-10, but Furman used kills from Jamila Johnson and Neci Harris to take the second set, 25-10, for a 2-0 match lead.
It was the Catamounts that rattled off seven-straight points to take a 10-5 lead in the third set, forcing the Paladins to call a timeout. The Paladins cut the lead to one at 10-9, but Western Carolina used a 7-2 run to open a 17-11 advantage, forcing Furman to call its final timeout. The teams then traded points through the remainder of the set, as the Catamounts took it 25-20 to cut the Furman match lead to 2-1.
The teams traded points early in the fourth, before Furman used a 5-1 run to open a 16-10 lead and force the Catamounts to call a timeout. The teams traded points until Meg DeMaar ended the set with an ace, giving Furman the 25-18 set four victory and 3-1 match win.
Western Carolina was led by Abigail Veit and Merry Gebel with 13 kills each, while Veit added a team-high 17 digs.
Furman is back in action on Wednesday night, playing host to Wofford in the final home match of 2018 at 7:00 p.m.