Oct. 31, 2008
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CLEMSON, SC – In a designated Dig for a Cure match, the Clemson volleyball team tied its season high for a three-set match with 54 defensive saves to sweep Virginia (25-14, 25-12, 25-18) at Jervey Gym on Friday night. Lia Proctor led the Tigers with 15 digs, while Didem Ege and Jeannette Abbott added 13 and 10, respectively.
Dig for a Cure is a nationwide effort by collegiate volleyball programs to raise money for breast cancer awareness and research. Fans were urged to pledge an amount for each dig Clemson recorded or donate a flat sum to the cause.
All 13 active members of the Clemson team, who wore pink jerseys in honor of the match, saw action against the Cavaliers (13-11, 5-7 ACC) as the Tigers were dominant both offensively and defensively. Aided by the 54 digs, Clemson (17-6, 9-3 ACC) held Virginia to a .096 hitting percentage while tallying 40 kills and hitting at a .359 clip.
Danielle Hepburn led the Tiger attack with 13 kills and a .684 hitting percentage as neither she nor Abbott committed a hitting error on Friday night. Hepburn also posted five total blocks in the contest.
Beth Shelton had nine kills for Virginia while libero Brittani Rendina tallied 12 digs in the effort.
The Tigers set the tone for the match early, opening the first set with a powerful kill by Hepburn that gave the serve to Clemson’s Cansu Ozdemir. She aced the next ball and Abbott followed with a kill for the 3-0 lead. Hepburn then teamed with Kelsey Murphy for a block and the Tigers went up 5-0. Murphy guided the offense to a stellar .478 hitting percentage in the opening set as the Clemson defense held the Cavaliers to a meager .061 figure. The lead stretched to seven at 18-11 and the teams traded points until the Tigers scored the final five points for the 25-14 win.
Clemson improved on both sides of the ball in the second set, posting 16 kills with 23 digs. The Tigers again jumped out to a quick lead as they scored the first four points of the set. They then extended the advantage to 17-6 on a six-point run on Abbott’s serve. The native of Downers Grove, IL recorded three straight aces during the stretch, while Proctor and Brittany Fennell added a kill apiece. Clemson then posted kills for six of the final eight points of the set and a Cavalier hitting error sealed the 25-12 win.
Virginia came out the break strong to record a kill and a block to open set three. The Tigers responded with two straight points of their own and the score remained close for the first part of the set. Back-to-back blocks gave Clemson the 13-11 advantage and the Tiger proceeded to out-score the Cavaliers 12-6 to close out the match.
The Tigers will play host to Virginia Tech on Saturday night in a battle between conference leaders. The match is scheduled to begin at 6:00 pm at Jervey Gym.
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