Johnson City, Tenn. (October 15, 2003) -- East Tennessee State's volleyball team held a 2-0 advantage over Furman in Southern Conference volleyball action Wednesday night, but the visiting Lady Paladins went on to win 20-30, 27-30, 39-37, 30-27, and 15-11 in a five-game thriller from Brooks Gym.
ETSU, which falls to 4-16 on the season and 2-6 in league play, hit a torrid .452 in game one, while the Paladins were held to a .138 clip on 11 attack errors. Furman (12-12, 7-3 SoCon) hit much better in game two (.364); however, the Buccaneers escaped with the win and had the momentum going into the break.
The lead changed hands nine different times in game three, but a kill by the Lady Paladins Ally Hock and an ETSU attack error gave Furman the eventual 39-37 victory. The win proved to be the turning point in the match as Furman posted come-from-behind heroics in game four and the decisive game five.
Sophomore setter Kristi Robinson(Knoxville, Tenn.) tallied 71 assists, which was just two assists shy of breaking an ETSU record that has stood for 10 years. Freshman Kelsey Sherich (Ogallala, Neb.) also pitched in her fair share of offense with a team and career-high 23 kills. Defensively, ETSU out-blocked the Lady Paladins 11-9, as senior middle blocker Lissa Allen (Palm Bay, Fla.) was credited with six blocks. Allen also finished with 16 kills in match, followed by 15 kills from fellow senior Kate Steidle (Waynesboro, Va.) and 12 kills from Karen Freeburg (New Castle, Ind.). Freshman Natalie Pittenger (Gaston, Ind.) posted a team-high 16 digs.
Furman boasted five separate players who finished with double figures in kills. Leading the way was Hock, who registered a double-double with a grand total of 24 kills and 11 digs, followed by 15 kills from Julia Fredrickson. Whiney Purser ended up with 14 kills, while Liz Hilliker and Caitlin White tallied 13 and 10 kills, respectively.
Rosey Cashman ended the evening with a team-high 15 digs, and was one of three Lady Paladins to reach double figures in that category. Molly Rybak also recorded a double-double with 66 assists and 12 digs.
East Tennessee State will have a few days to lick its wounds, but must be ready again on Sunday, Oct. 19, when Wofford comes into town. The match versus the Terriers is set to begin at 1 p.m. in Brooks Gym. Meanwhile, Furman continues its road stretch with an Oct. 18, match-up in Chattanooga.