GREENVILLE, S.C. – Neci Harris recorded a team-high 11 kills to lead the Furman volleyball team on Sunday afternoon as the Paladins fell 3-0 to the N.C. State Wolfpack in their home opener at Alley Gymnasium.
N.C. State improves to 5-7 on the season while Furman falls to 0-11 overall.
The opening set featured seven ties with six coming in the first 14 points. The Paladins held a 7-5 lead during that stretch coming off a solo block by Courtney Hoffman. The Wolfpack followed with a 10-4 run to extend their lead out to 15-11 after a block from Jessica Kemp and Taylor Rowland, forcing Furman into a timeout. N.C. State maintained its lead at 17-13 midway before the Paladins staged a late rally. Furman collected eight of the next 12 points and tied the score at 21-21 off Sarah Turner's service ace. The Wolfpack closed the set on a 4-1 run to win 25-22.
The Paladins started the second set going ahead 6-4 when Hoffman connected on a kill. After N.C. State tied the score, Harris responded with a kill as Furman took an 8-7 lead. The Wolfpack answered with an 11-3 run and went in front 18-11 off a kill by Kemp. Furman got as close as two, 23-21, after going on a 10-5 run of its own. A ball handling error by Kristen McDaniel got the Paladins within two, forcing N.C. State into a timeout. The Wolfpack scored the last two points out of the timeout for the 25-21 victory.
A 5-1 run by N.C. State began the third set as the Wolfpack eventually went ahead 11-3 following a kill by Melissa Evans. The Wolfpack remained ahead by seven points, 18-11, when Evans registered a service ace. Furman rallied by recording the next four points and trailed 18-15 after an N.C. State attack error. Katie Murphy kept the Paladins' deficit at 20-16 following her kill. The Wolfpack outscored Furman 5-1 after that to secure the 25-17 win and 3-0 match victory.
Harris led the Paladins offensively with 11 kills while Hoffman hit .385 for the match. Murphy dished out 24 assists and was one of four players to record six digs along with Turner, Andrea Aceveda and Abbey Crawford.
N.C. State was led offensively by Evans who had a match-high 13 kills and was joined in double-figures by Kemp with 11. Nina Sharpton and Kristen McDaniel combined for 37 assists as Sharpton contributed 20 and McDaniel 17. Jade Parchment finished with a match-high 11 digs and Kaylee Frazier posted 10.
Furman opens SoCon play on Friday, September 27 when it hosts East Tennessee State at 6 p.m. in Alley Gymnasium.