CHARLESTON -- The Furman volleyball team went on the road to McAlister Field House on Wednesday evening and lost 3-0 to The Citadel. Sharlissa de Jesus and Ali Ruffin both recorded double-doubles to lead the Bulldogs to the victory.
The Citadel won the sets 25-19, 25-16 and 25-19 to improve to 7-5 on the season and 3-3 in Southern Conference play. Furman fell to 6-8 overall and 1-3 in the SoCon.
Bella Tolone and Maya Mrus registered 9 and 7 kills, respectively, while both had 11 digs in the loss. Sarah Turner collected her 5th double-double of the season after finishing with 18 assists and 10 digs. Andrea Aceveda led all players with 17 digs.
De Jesus compiled 11 kills and 13 digs while Ruffin added 10 kills and 12 digs to lead the Bulldogs. Belle Hogan dished out 32 assists and Kenzie Kellerman tallied 13 digs.
The opening set featured a total of 12 ties with six coming in the first 20 points. The Citadel scored 6 of the first 9 points before the Paladins came back with a 7-4 run to even the score at 10-10 when Chandler Parker connected on a kill. Tolone gave Furman a 13-11 lead midway following her kill. Sydney Tanner maintained the Paladins’ two-point lead when her kill made the score 17-15. The Bulldogs closed out the set on a 10-2 run and won 25-19 on a Furman service error.
Natalie Dunn gave Furman an early 4-3 lead in the 2nd set with her kill. After The Citadel went in front 6-5, the Paladins took a 1-point lead twice with the last coming at 8-7 on Tolone’s kill. The Bulldogs would retake the lead at 11-8 on a solo block from Maddy Cardenas. Furman responded the following point with a combination block from Tolone and Kelsey Watkins, putting the score at 11-9. The Citadel broke the set open with an 8-4 run to hold a 19-12 lead, forcing the Paladins into a timeout. The Bulldogs outscored Furman 6-4 after the timeout for the 25-16 victory.
The Citadel began the 3rd set scoring 4 of the first 5 points to go ahead 4-1. Furman scored the next 3 points including 2 off kills by Ava Augustson. The Paladins tied the score at 4-4 on Aceveda’s service ace. The Bulldogs would then go on a 16-8 run and took a 20-12 lead after a Furman attack error. The Paladins made a late rally and got as close as four, 22-18, following a 6-2 run after a timeout. Mrus cut Furman’s deficit down to four with her kill. The Citadel concluded the set recording 3 of the last 4 points to win 25-19 and capture the match 3-0.
The Paladins finished the contest with 7 total blocks led by Watkins’ 4 block assists. Mrus and Tanner both had 2 blocks on 1 solo and 1 assisted. Tolone and Dunn also recorded 2 assisted blocks.
Furman is back at Alley Gymnasium this weekend to host Western Carolina and UNC Greensboro in a pair of SoCon matches.