Gamecocks lose five-set heartbreaker to Furman

The South Carolina volleyball team dropped a 3-2 decision to Furman on Saturday, as the Paladins won by the scores of 25-21, 22-25, 21-25, 25-21 and 17-15 in the Carolina Challenge at Winthrop Coliseum.

With the loss, the Gamecocks fall to 3-2 on the season. Furman improves to 2-3 overall.

South Carolina lost the first set but bounced back to win sets two and three and was leading 20-16 in the fourth set. However, Furman closed out the set on a 9-1 run and claimed a 17-15 win in a back-and-forth fifth set to win the match.

The Gamecocks out-blocked the Paladins 14-11, but Furman held a slim advantage in hitting (.183-.182), kills 69-61 and digs 95-91.

Three Gamecocks finished the match with double-doubles, led by freshman outside hitter Taylr McNeil's career-high 22 kills while hitting .321 and 23 digs. McNeil also had five blocks. Sophomore KoKo Atoa-Williams pitched in 15 kills and a career-high 15 digs, while freshman Allie Monserez dished out a career-high 41 assists and had 14 digs and five blocks. Senior libero Mikaela Christiaansen finished with 19 digs, while junior middle blocker Darian Dozier recorded 12 kills, nine blocks and seven digs.

Ashton Gregory paced Furman with 21 kills while hitting .326, while Christen Sikora (16 kills, 10 digs) and Annie Bierman (11 kills, 16 digs), and setter Jo Wilks (59 assists, 16 digs) all finished with double-doubles for the Paladins. Amelia Bohlander added 12 kills in the win.

Match Changer

South Carolina took momentum with wins in the second and third sets and looked to be on its way to a win in the fourth set with a 20-16 lead. However, Furman closed out the set on a 9-1 run to win 25-21.

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