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Clemson Falls at NC State on Saturday

Clemson Falls at NC State on Saturday

RALEIGH, NC – The Clemson volleyball team fell to first-place NC State (15-1, 5-0 ACC) on Saturday night by a 3-1 (26-24, 21-25, 21-25, 19-25) score in Reynolds Coliseum. Clemson (10-6, 1-4 ACC) had a season-high 101 digs and 17 blocks, but the Wolfpack managed 64 kills to Clemson’s 48. The Tigers will regroup before heading home to play Virginia on Oct. 5 in a match that will be televised on RSN. Clemson fell to 38-19 all-time against NC State, and have dropped two in a row after a 27-match winning streak over the Pack was snapped late in 2011. NC State’s Brie Merriwether led all players with a career-high 26 kills, while Clemson’s top attacker was Sandra Adeleye, who had 16 kills in a season-high 49 swings. Mo Simmons added 11 kills and a career-high-tying 19 digs. Kristin Faust led all players with a career-best 27 digs, while libero Natalie Patzin had 25, just four off her previous career best. Hannah Brenner had 41 assists, 11 digs, five blocks, and four kills in her fourth double-double of the season. Sophomore Karis Watson entered in the second set and had a career-high eight total blocks. The match was a defensive struggle, with each team scrapping for each point, evidenced by the 203 combined digs. Neither team hit over .208 in any one set. Clemson hit just .140, while NC State hit .164. The Tigers were able to get their hands on 17 attacks for blocks, besting the previous season-high set against Xavier. Eleven of Adeleye’s kills came in the final two sets, and although she had just one error during that time, she took 36 swings, giving the Wolfpack 24 digs in the final two sets. Service points were a key swing, as Clemson totaled three aces in the first frame, but were shutout the rest of the way. On the other side, The Pack had four service errors in the first set and just one the rest of the way. Clemson fought off two set points to claim the first set, 26-24. NC State led, 24-22, but the Tigers didn’t blink, going to Adeleye for a kill. Simmons then added an ace, before Adeleye and Brenner combined on a block to set up set point for Clemson, which Adeleye buried. The Tigers benefitted from four Wolfpack service errors, while also tallying three aces, including two from Simmons. NC State claimed the second and third sets, each by 25-21 margins. In the third set, Clemson had eight blocks, but tallied just ten kills, giving NC State the 2-1 advantage going into the fourth set. The Wolfpack took a 7-3 lead after scoring five straight points, but Clemson answered with five of their own, including two kills each from Adeleye and Faust. With Clemson holding a 10-9 lead, the Wolfpack scored five of the next six to take a 14-11 lead and force a Clemson timeout. Clemson closed to within one, but the Wolfpack scored the following three to take a four-point edge. Clemson again clawed to get back within one at 20-18 after Brenner and Adeleye combined for a block, but Patzin put the ensuing serve long, and the Pack set up match point with three more in a row. Clemson got one back with a block, but Merriwether closed with her final kill to close Clemson out, 25-19.

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