Furman posted its second victory in a row, sweeping Liberty, 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-23) on Saturday at the Vines Center.
With the win, Furman (3-2) sets up a championship match at 4:30 p.m. against Maryland, as both the Paladins and Terrapins are 2-0 so far at the Liberty Invitational. Liberty falls to 1-4 on the season, including 0-2 this weekend, heading into a 7 p.m. match against Elon tonight.
Furman outhit Liberty, .236-153, for the match, while also leading, 58-50 in digs and 8.5-7 in blocks. Both teams served up three aces.
Christen Sikora recorded a match-high 12 kills and 12 digs for Furman, while Jamila Johnson totaled 11 kills and a match-high 19 digs. Hunter Thompson registered a double-double with 31 assists and 12 digs. Courtney Hoffman posted five blocks, while Meg DeMaar collected 10 digs.
Casey Goodwin led Liberty in kills for the second match in a row, scoring nine kills to go with a season-high five blocks. Hannah Morris recorded 29 assists and 10 digs, while Margaret Latchford collected 14 digs and Kaitlin Young served up two aces.
Liberty led set one, 13-11, following a kill by Victoria Baptista. However, after a rally point, Furman's DeMaar served up five straight points, including two aces, giving the Paladins an 18-13 lead. The Lady Flames chipped away, but got no closer than four points as the guests took a 25-20 victory.
Sikora led all players with five first-set kills, as Furman outhit Liberty, .243-.154. Gabrielle Vess and Sirena Vorster scored four kills each for the hosts.
Furman held a 15-9 advantage in set two after a solo block by Hoffman. Goodwin sparked a 4-0 Liberty rally with two kills, as the Lady Flames trimmed the deficit to 15-13. Liberty got within two points seven times in the second half of the middle session, but back-to-back Furman points gave the Paladins the 25-21 set win.
The visitors hit .279 in the second set, compared to .184 for the Lady Flames. Johnson scored five kills, matched by Goodwin's five kills.
Set three proved to be the closest of the match, with nine ties and two lead changes. Furman broke the ninth and final tie, scoring three straight points to gain a 23-20 lead. Trailing, 24-21, Kainah Williams and Baptista sent down consecutive kills. An attack error ended the match, with Furman winning, 25-23.