CLEMSON, S.C. – The Tigers (5-8) opened ACC play against Georgia Tech (10-3) in a Jervey Gym 1,127 fans strong. A few late Yellow Jacket runs led to Clemson falling in three (17-25, 20-25, 19-25).
“The crowd’s support here is always incredible,” head coach Hugh Hernesman said. “We appreciate how into it they are. It’s a big deal for us and it means a lot to us.”
After facing top-tier competition in Dallas last weekend the Tigers came back and put together a solid week of prep for the opener.
“We’re all just disappointed. We had a really good week of preparation. We felt really good after Wednesday’s practice, we felt really good after yesterday’s practice. We felt prepared and I thought our energy level was great coming into the match but for whatever reason I felt like that energy just disappeared and we just didn’t quite have it on the floor.”
The Yellow Jackets were just too hot to handle as Rebecca Martin found ACC standout Teegan Van Gunst for 18 kills on 30 swings. Martin finished the match with 38 assists.
“I think Georgia Tech played really well, they came out and executed. Momentum swings back-and-forth in this sport and I felt like we were never really able to grab that momentum. Despite that we were always within striking distance we just couldn’t quite get that run to go.”
Leah Perri was once again the leader of the offense, killing 13 balls on 26 swings. She now has double-digit kills in 11-of-13 matches this season.
“Leah was efficient, she was high kill, low error like everything we’ve come to expect from Leah. Leah Perri is not a secret to the league, people prepare for her. I think we were able to do some things to get her some good looks despite people preparing for her. I thought she played great, I wish we could have generated more offense in other areas but she held her own.”
Sofia Hruby turned in another solid performance, recording three blocks while registering six kills on 10 attempts.
“If we can get that kind of efficiency out of both of our middles its progress for us. We’ve been very pin heavy earlier in the season. Some of that was dictated by our ball control to start but I think our ball control is there now and we can start getting them a little more involved.”
Keelie Arneson moves closer to NCAA history with her 13 digs in the match. She is now 33 digs away from breaking into the NCAA’s list of top 25 career dig leaders. She is currently the active career digs leader with 2,366 digs.
Syracuse is next on the docket this weekend as the Tigers will host the Orange in Jervey Gym on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
“We’re not going to beat ourselves up over it. We’re going to come tomorrow, prepare hard and get ready for Sunday.”
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