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Sep 01, 2018

Clean Sweep: Volleyball Goes Undefeated to Win Appalachian Invitational

Appalachian State Box Score  //  Davidson Box Score

 

BOONE, N.C. – The Clemson volleyball team downed Appalachian State (25-22, 19-25, 21-25, 26-24, 15-10) and Davidson (25-16, 25-19, 25-23) Saturday afternoon to earn tournament-champion status at the Appalachian Invitational. Freshman outside/right side hitter Solei Thomas was named Tournament MVP, while sophomore outside/right side hitter Alyssa Deloney and freshman setter Gabby Easton were also named to the All-Tournament Team.

“I was really proud of our team fighting to get a win in another five-setter this weekend,” said Clemson head coach Michaela Franklin. “And then to be able to turn around in a 35-minute window and process the scouting, prepare to play Davidson, and go get a win was really impressive.”

On the weekend, Thomas averaged 3.85 kills per set, including her season-best 22 kills against the Mountaineers. Easton tallied 165 assists, which was good for 12.69 assists per set, while Deloney averaged 2.92 kills per set along with eight blocks and five service aces. All five of Deloney’s service aces came in Clemson’s 3-2 win over Mississippi State Friday. Additionally, freshman libero Torie Frederick led all Clemson defenders for the tournament, averaging 5.54 digs per set at libero.

Clemson took care of business in three sets against the Wildcats as Deloney (13), Thomas (12) and Brooke Bailey (12) all reached double-digit kills. Freshman setter Gabby Easton dimed 51 assists, making her the first Clemson player to tally at least 50 assists in a three-set match since 2003. In the backrow, Frederick collected her third straight match with at least 20 digs at the libero position, totaling 22 against Davidson. For the match, the Tigers hit .372, good for a team season best.

In the Tigers’ thrilling five-set win over Appalachian State Saturday morning, Clemson forced a deciding fifth set, despite trailing 19-16 late in the fourth. After dropping the second and third sets, the Tigers appeared to have the fourth sealed in their favor, but the Mountaineers won a challenge deep in the fourth to even the game at 24-24. Back-to-back kills by Thomas would gave Clemson the fourth, forcing a best-of-five scenario. A kill from Bailey followed by a Mountaineer error late in the fifth gave Clemson an 11-10 lead, prompting a Mountaineer timeout. Coming out of the timeout, the Tigers then fired off four straight points to grasp the set (15-10) and match. The deciding set saw eight lead changes. Bailey spearheaded the Clemson effort in the fifth with five kills, while hitting 1.000.

Up next, the Tigers head to Kennesaw State on Tuesday (Sept. 4) for a mid-week matchup, which is slated for 7 p.m.

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