Wake Ends Black & Gold Challenge With Four-Game Defeat of Jacksonville
Sept. 8, 2007
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Junior Jessica Furlong had 24 kills, and freshman Megan Thornberry recorded 22 digs to lead Wake Forest to a four-game defeat of Jacksonville Saturday evening in the final match of the Black & Gold Challenge at Reynolds Gymnasium. The Demon Deacons downed the Dolphins 30-26, 27-30, 30-25, 30-17.
Wake Forest ended the Black & Gold Challenge 2-1, finishing as tournament runner-up to Dayton. The No. 23-ranked Flyers went 3-0 for the tournament.
Furlong was named to the All-Tournament Team, along with junior Natalie Mullikin. Furlong had 51 kills on the weekend, an average of 5.10 per game. Furlong also averaged 3.10 digs per game. Mullikin had 33 kills (3.00 per game) and 12 total blocks (1.09 per game) on the weekend.
Against Jacksonville, Furlong turned in her fourth double-double of the season and second of the tournament. The St. Augustine, Fla. native tied her season-high with 24 kills and also added 12 digs.
Thornberry, who manned the libero spot for Wake, posted her first match with 20+ digs, finishing with a team-high 22.
Mullikin had 13 kills and a team-best three blocks against the Dolphins.
Freshman Lauren McIntyre, who made the first start of her career, hit .636 with nine kills and two errors in 11 attempts.
Classmate Kristen White totaled 10 kills and hit .471 with two errors in 17 attempts.
Junior Ashley Homitz chipped in eight kills and five digs off the bench.
Jacksonville had the early advantage in game one, getting out to a quick 5-2 lead. Trailing 9-7, Wake Forest scored six straight points to take its first lead of the game, 13-9.
The Deacons increased their lead to seven at 22-15, but the Dolphins followed with a 9-4 run to pull within two, 26-24. Holding a 28-26 margin, Wake got a kill from Homitz and a block from Mullikin and White to pick up the 30-26 win.
Furlong tallied six kills in game one, while Thornberry had six digs. Mullikin and White had two blocks apiece in the contest.
Game two was tight throughout with both teams trading punches. However, Jacksonville was able to put Wake Forest away in the end. The Deacs fought back from a 23-20 deficit with a 6-2 run. After the Dolphins tied it 26-26, JU took four of the final five points for the 30-27 win.
Furlong and Mullikin had five kills each in game two, while Thornberry led Wake with seven digs.
Wake Forest never trailed in game three, but Jacksonville kept it close throughout. The Deacons built a 15-9 lead only to see the Dolphins come back to tie it, 17-17, with an 8-2 run.
With the score tied 18-18, Wake used a 6-1 run to take control of the game. JU pulled to within 25-23, but the Deacs held the Dolphins off for the 30-25 win.
Wake hit .308 with 16 kills and four errors in 39 attempts in game three. Furlong led the Deacs with six kills on 13 attempts. Dylan Faulkner dished out 12 assists in the stanza.
The Deacons rolled in game four, easily downing the Dolphins 30-17. Wake Forest scored six of the first seven points and never let Jacksonville get within less than three the rest of the way.
Wake hit a torrid .459 in game three, recording 21 kills and four errors in 37 attempts. Thornberry had seven digs in the game, while Furlong totaled seven kills. Dylan Faulkner dished out 16 assists for the Deacons.
Dayton's Becky Novacek was named Tournament MVP. The Flyers' Tiffany Gaerke was also named to the All-Tournament Team. Jacksonville's Melissa Merchant and Radford's Maggie Wagner rounded out the All-Tournament honorees.
Wake Forest will wrap up its non-conference schedule next weekend at the University of Houston Tournament. The Deacs will take on Rice on Friday and then face Stephen F. Austin and host Houston on Saturday.