GREENVILLE, S.C. – Senior Natalie Braun recorded a double-double with 17 kills and 11 digs as the Furman volleyball team opened the Southern Conference season with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-18, 25-20) victory over Davidson Friday in Alley Gymnasium. With the win, the Paladins extended their home winning streak to 19 matches.
"It is always a blast playing at home in Alley," said Braun, who hit .548 with no errors in the win. "We wanted to come out tonight and show the SoCon that we are here for business, and we aren't going to be satisfied without some quality wins."
Following a 7-7 tie to open the first set, the Paladins connected on four-straight points, sparked by the service of freshman Caitlyn Scioscia. The Wildcats remained within two points of Furman throughout the second half of the set until the Paladins put together back-to-back points off a kill from Braun and a Davidson hitting error to go ahead, 20-16. After a Paladin hitting error, Furman notched five of the next six points for a 25-18 set victory.
The teams battled through six ties in the beginning of set two before Furman took a 13-11 lead off a service ace by junior Elle Ross and a Wildcat attack error. The Paladins maintained the two-point lead until Davidson's Hannah Rau tallied a consecutive block and kill to tie the match at 17. Furman answered by reeling off five-straight points, including a replay of a point argued by Paladin head coach Michelle Young. The replay ignited the Furman team, who claimed the set's final three points for a 25-18 win in the set.
With the score tied at 11 in the third set, the Paladins went on a 10-4 run to build a 21-15 advantage, but the Wildcats responded with a 4-0 run of their own, cutting the lead to two points at 21-19. Furman freshman Payton Frappier entered the match to serve and connected on back-to-back service aces to swing the momentum toward the Paladins, who held on for a 25-20 set win to seal the victory.
Furman junior Christina Dorismond hit .350 with 10 kills, while senior Chandler Ambrester posted 11 kills and nine digs in the match-up. Ross collected a team-high 20 digs, and Frappier led the team with three service aces.
Davidson (4-7, 0-1 SoCon) was led by Tindall Sewell, who hit .353 with seven kills. Molly Crenshaw paced the Wildcat defense with 16 digs.
Furman (11-3, 1-0 SoCon) returns to action Saturday afternoon when the Paladins face Georgia Southern at 4 p.m. in Alley Gymnasium.