CHARLESTON, SC -- The Southern Conference volleyball tournament concluded day one this evening with #3 Furman topping #6 East Tennessee State 3-1 (10-15, 16-14, 15-5, 16-14) at the John Kresse Arena in Charleston, SC. Furman (17-16) advances to the semifinals on Saturday.
Furman and ETSU exchanged points early in game one, battling to a 7-7 tie before the Bucs went ahead 12-7. The Lady Paladins scored three to cut the lead to two but ETSU scored the final three points to take game one 15-10.
Furman came out strong in game two, taking an 8-0 lead before the Bucs scored two. ETSU battled back to 9-6 before the Lady Paladins took an 11-6 lead. With Furman leading 14-11, the Bucs fought back to a 14-14 tie after changing posession seven times but the Lady Paladins grabbed two points to take game two 16-14 to tie the match at 1-1.
The Lady Paladins went up 5-2 in the third game with ETSU tying it up at five apiece. Furman scored seven points before the Bucs could break the momentum. The two teams changed posession nine times before Furman scored three straight points, winning game three 15-5 and taking a 2-1 lead.
ETSU started game four strong, taking a 6-2 lead before the Lady Paladins tied it at six. Both teams added points to the board with ETSU taking a 10-8 lead after a battle for posession. With a deadlock game at 12-9, Furman broke the stalemate and scored five to take a 14-12 lead. The Bucs answered with two, tying the match for the third time. The Lady Paladins regained posession and scored two straight to win game four 16-14 and the match 3-1.
Laura Bush led the Lady Paladins with 18 kills and 13 digs with Abby Simon recording 18 kills and 12 digs. Carrie Rowley checked in with 17 kills and 21 digs with Shawn Beckham recording 10 kills and 13 digs. Amber Ciskowski led the ETSU effort with 19 kills and 10 digs with Rachel Shifflet recording 11 kills and 15 digs. Carey Cavanaugh recorded her 2,000th career assist and finished the season with 2,131 assists.
ETSU finishes the season with a 16-13 record. Furman faces College of Charleston on Saturday at 4:00pm in the second semifinal of the day. The Cougars upset second-seed Chattanooga earlier in the day. In the early match on Saturday, top-seeded Davidson will take on Western Carolina at 1:00pm.
The Wildcats topped UNC Greensboro while Western Carolina edged Appalchian State in five. Catch both semifinals live on the internet at www.soconsports.com and follow the Total Cast links to coverage of the 2000 Southern Conference Volleyball Championships.