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Clemson Sports Year in Review

June 14, 2005

Fifteen of Clemson’s 19 sports programs advanced to postseason play in 2004-05. The list included six programs (baseball, golf, rowing, women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis), who were chosen as a team for NCAA Tournament competition. Four programs had top 25 final rankings, including the women’s tennis (10) and baseball programs (top 15). The program had 62 All-ACC selections, 14 All-American selections and seven student-athletes who were named at least Academic All-Region. Six different Clemson teams had a combined 34 wins over top 25 teams.

Season of Comebacks The 2004-05 academic year will be known as the year of the comeback. First, the Clemson football program went from a 1-4 start to a 6-5 finish, the first time since 1965 that Clemson started 1-4 then finished with a winning season. The Clemson men’s basketball team won five of its last eight games to close the regular season and qualify for the NIT. The Tigers then defeated Maryland in the ACC Tournament and took national champion North Carolina to the final minute. The Clemson baseball team was just 15-13 at midseason, then won 28 of its last 38 games. Clemson’s women’s tennis team started the season 5-6, but won 17 of its last 20 to finish with a 22-9 record and a berth in the Final Four of the NCAA tournament.

Spring Sports Standout Clemson has a history of success when it comes to spring sports. All seven Clemson athletic programs that consider spring competition their traditional season advanced to postseason play. That includes a women’s tennis team that reached the Final Four of the NCAA Championships, a baseball team that reached the final game of the Super Regional in Waco, TX, and a men’s tennis team that reached the final 32 of the NCAA Tournament. The golf, men’s track and women’s track programs all finished in the top 40 of their respective championship meets or final computer polls.

There were also many honors for the spring sports teams on an individual basis. Clemson had the Regional players of the year in men’s and women’s tennis for the first time in the same year. Julie Coin was the top player in the region of women’s tennis and Nathan Thompson won the same award on the men’s side. Baseball player Kris Harvey was a second round selection of the Major League draft and ranked in a tie for first in the nation in total home runs. Gisele Oliveira finished second nationally in the triple jump at the women’s NCAA Championship meet and Ron Richards finished fifth in the nation in the 100 meters. Women’s rowing coach Susie Lueck was named the ACC Rowing Coach of the Year and Clemson golfer Jack Ferguson was named to the NCAA All-Regional team for the third straight year.

Clemson Undefeated in Overtime in All Sports The 2004-05 academic year has produced some thrilling endings for Clemson University athletic teams. Clemson has 19-sport comprehensive program and six of those sports compete in a format that has overtime. Those six teams were a combined 8-0-3 in overtime or extra innings this academic year, including a perfect 6-0 in the sports of football, basketball and baseball combined.

It all started in September when Tommy Bowden’s football team defeated Wake Forest in double overtime 37-30 on a touchdown pass from Charlie Whitehurst to Kyle Browning that was followed by a Clemson defensive stand. In November, Clemson upset 10th ranked Miami (FL) in overtime in the Orange Bowl, 24-17 on a touchdown run by Reggie Merriweather, that was followed by a defensive stand.

The Clemson men’s soccer team posted a 2-0-1 record in overtime periods during the 2004 season, wins over NC State and Stetson and a tie with Furman. The Lady Tigers were officially 0-0-2 in overtime this year, but one of the ties came during the ACC Tournament when Todd Bramble’s team advanced to the semifinals by winning the penalty kicks against Florida State, 4-3. Goalkeeper Lauren Johnston saved a shot by Florida State’s Camie Bybee, allowing Clemson to advance.

On the hard court, Clemson defeated rival South Carolina in overtime in both men’s basketball and women’s basketball. Both wins were accomplished in Columbia just a week apart. The Lady Tigers gained victory 87-79, while the men won 63-62 on a three-point shot by freshman Cheyenne More with just 2.8 seconds left in the extra session.Jack Leggett’s baseball team continued the trend in the spring with two extra inning victories without a defeat. Clemson won at Maryland in 13 innings in March by a 6-4 score, then defeated Wake Forest by a 17-14 score on May 14.

Clemson In 25-25 Club Clemson made its 31st appearance in the NCAA baseball tournament in 2005, one of just six schools to go to at least 30 baseball regional tournaments. The Tigers have also been to 27 bowl games in their history, making the Clemson sports program one of just six schools nationally to compete in at least 25 bowl games and 25 NCAA baseball tournaments.

The other five schools to compete in at least 25 of each are Florida State, Miami (FL), Oklahoma, Southern Cal and Texas. It is interesting to note that three of the six schools are from the ACC.

Sport Season Reviews 2004-05

Kris Harvey

Baseball The Tigers baseball team was chosen for the NCAA tournament for the 19th consecutive year and Jack Leggett’s team made a strong run in the event, reaching the Super Regionals for the fifth time in the seven years the NCAA has used that format. The team recorded 43 victories, including a school record tying 19 wins over top 25 teams.

As many Clemson teams did in 2004-05, Clemson made a strong comeback in the second half the season. After a 15-13 first half of the season, the Tigers won 28 of the last 38 to close with a 43-23 mark and a top 15 final national ranking. The second half run included a three-game sweep of the University of Miami (FL) by a combined score of 30-9, the first time the Hurricanes were swept in a three-game series since 2002. The Friday night victory was by a 15-5 score over ACC Pitcher of the Year Caesar Carrillo, who entered the game with a perfect 24-0 college record.

Two Tigers gained prominent honors during the 2005 season, including second baseman Taylor Harbin, who was named a second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball, the first freshman in Clemson history to be named to an All-America team. Kris Harvey hit 25 home runs, tied for the second highest total in Clemson history and best in the nation, and joined Harbin on first-team All-ACC squad. Pitcher Josh Cribb led the Tigers down the stretch, including a two-hit shutout of nationally ranked College of Charleston in the Clemson regional, the fewest hits allowed in a shutout victory in an NCAA Tournament game in school history. Andy D’Alessio was named the Most Valuable Player of the Clemson Regional as he went 7-9 at the plate.

 

Sharrod Ford

Men’s Basketball The men’s basketball team advanced to the NIT, Clemson’s first postseason appearance since 1999. The program made great strides under second-year head coach Oliver Purnell. The year included three victories over Maryland, just the fourth 3-0 sweep by a Clemson team over an ACC program in history. The Tigers won 16 games, a six-win improvement over the previous year, the largest single season victory gain in 18 years. Clemson showed great improvement on defense and was the only school in the nation to rank in the top 20 nationally in blocked shots and steals.

The Tigers closed the season with a rush, finishing 4-4 in the second half of the ACC schedule, then gaining a victory over Maryland in the ACC Tournament before losing a close game to eventual National Champion North Carolina in the same event. Clemson won two ACC road games for the first time since 1998 and defeated rival South Carolina by one point in overtime on a last second shot by Cheyenne Moore.

Sharrod Ford was named third-team All-ACC and first-team All-District during his senior season. He joined Horace Grant as the only players in Clemson history to increase his scoring average and rebound average three consecutive years. He ended his home career in exciting fashion, scoring a dunk at the buzzer to give Clemson a 66-64 win over Virginia Tech on “Senior Night”. Cliff Hammonds was a Clemson record four-time ACC Rookie of the Week selection and made the ACC All-Freshman team, while Shawan Robinson was named to the ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-District team.

 

Jim Davis

Women’s Basketball, 2004-05 The 2004-05 women’s basketball team was one of the youngest in the ACC, with seven newcomers (two transfers, five first-year freshmen) playing key roles for Clemson. The Tigers recorded an 87-79 win at South Carolina in overtime, the second consecutive year that Clemson defeated the Gamecocks in an extra period. Newcomer Reggie Maddox hit a pull-up jumper as time expired to send the game into overtime. Clemson also recorded an upset win (78-65) over an N.C. State team that eventually advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

Maddox had a significant impact in her first season with the team after transferring from Chipola Junior College. She led the team in scoring, assists, and steals, and ranked second in blocked shots and rebounding. Junior center Amanda White was named to the ACC’s Academic Honor Roll.

The 2004-05 season marked the final year of the Jim Davis era at Clemson. He concluded his career with a school record 355 wins for his 18 years leading the Lady Tigers. Davis is the only Clemson basketball coach to win the ACC Championship, taking the tournament crown in 1995 and 1999. He also leads all Clemson basketball coaches in wins over top 25 teams (51), 20-win seasons (11), final top 25 rankings (11), ACC victories (154), ACC Tournament victories (20), and postseason appearances (16).

 

Gisele Oliveira

Women’s Track The highlight of the Lady Tigers’ 2005 campaign was Gisele Oliveira’s national crown in the triple jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships. The senior from Porto Alegre, Brazil, earned the first indoor field event national championship in school history, and won Clemson’s fourth NCAA title under fifth-year head coach Marcia Noad. Outdoor, Oliveira was the NCAA Runner-up in the triple jump, and concluded her career with six All-America certificates. She is the Lady Tigers’ all-time leader in the triple jump indoor and outdoor, and ranks second in the long jump indoor and outdoor.

Four other Lady Tiger all-time standards were set during the 2005 season. Senior Silja Ulfarsdottir recorded a time of 56.62 in the 400m hurdles in her runner-up finish at the ACC Championships. Junior Jennifer Barton re-set her Clemson record in the steeplechase as she bettered her personal-best time to 11:11.66 at the Solid Orange Classic.

Sara Young, a sophomore, cleared 12’11.5″ in the pole vault at the Orange & Purple Classic to set the best Lady Tiger mark in that event. Indoor, the Lady Tigers’ 4x400m relay team of Ulfarsdottir, Jessica Cousins, Randi Hinton and Sierra Hill posted an all-time record performance of 3:34.76 at the Iowa State Last Chance Meet. That foursome placed ninth at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Overall, Clemson women’s track and field athletes turned in 18 performances that rank among the top-five on the all-time indoor and outdoor lists.

Itay Magidi

Men’s Track Four Tigers brought home All-America honors during the 2005 indoor and outdoor track and field campaigns. Under 17th-year head coach George Kitchens earned his second All-America certificate in the long jump, while Scott Kautz, Itay Magidi and Ronald Richards added their names to the list of All-Americans outdoor. Kautz finished ninth in the 400m hurdles, Magidi earned his second All-America honor in the 3000m steeplechase and Richards placed fifth in the 100m dash to earn his first such accolade.

The Clemson men’s track and field teams brought home back-to-back runner-up finishes at the ACC Championships. Indoor, the Tigers won conference titles in the 5000m, high jump and long jump, then captured the ACC crown in the high jump and long jump outdoor. Ten Clemson athletes earned All-ACC honor indoor, and eight all-conference accolades were merited during the outdoor season. The Tigers also turned in 12 performances (eight indoor) that ranked among Clemson’s all-time best marks.

 

 

Leroy Hill

Football The Tigers won five of their last six games, including three in last second fashion, to finish bowl eligible in 2004, the first Clemson team in 40 years to start 1-4 then finish with a winning season. The highlight victory took place the Orange Bowl in Miami, where Clemson defeated Miami (FL) 24-17 in overtime behind three touchdowns by running back Reggie Merriweather. Miami (FL) was ranked 10th in the nation entering the game and had been 174-2 when leading entering the fourth quarterback before Clemson recorded the comeback victory. Overall, Clemson had five games decided on the last play of the game, a first in school history. The Tigers won four games decided by seven points or less, the most since 1993.

Clemson won two games in overtime in 2004 and now has an NCAA best 5-0 career mark in overtime games. The Tigers concluded the season with a 29-7 win over rival South Carolina, Clemson’s fifth win in the last six years against the Gamecocks under head coach Tommy Bowden’s.

LeRoy Hill was named a third-team Associated Press All-American, first-team All-ACC and was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Justin Miller was named an All-American as a kick returner and led the nation in kickoff return average. He established a national record with 282 kickoff return yards, including two for touchdowns at Florida State. Barry Richardson was named a first-team freshman All-American as an offensive tackle and All-ACC receiver Airese Currie became the first Tiger to lead the ACC in receptions since 1980.

Jack Ferguson

Golf Clemson’s golf team qualified for the NCAA tournament for the 24th consecutive year, the second longest active streak on college golf. Jack Ferguson led the Tigers with a 73.42 stroke average and was named All-ACC and All-Region for the third consecutive year. The senior finished fourth at the ACC Tournament, the third consecutive year he recorded a top five finish at the conference tournament. Senior Brent Delahoussaye joined Ferguson on the ACC-ACC team and also finished fourth at the ACC tournament. The season also included hole-in-one shots by Tigers Brian Duncan and Stephen Poole, the third and fourth hole-in-one shots in Clemson golf history. The team finished 27th in the final Sagarin computer rankings.

 

 

 

 

Susie Lueck

Rowing The Clemson rowing program continued to make strides in the spring of 2005. The novice 8+ team scored monumental upsets over the course of the year. First, the Tigers downed national powerhouse Washington at the Windermere Classic, making it the first time ever a Clemson boat defeated a Husky boat. Then, the novice 8+ upset ACC Champion Virginia to claim its first conference title. It was only the second time in the six-year history of the event that Virginia had been defeated in any ACC Championship race. The Tigers finished second at the ACC Championship, with head coach Susie Lueck garnering ACC Coach of the Year honors. Ashlee Brown, Liz Averyt, and Sarah Cooper were named All-ACC at the conclusion of the event.

Brown added to her impressive list of accolades as the season concluded. She was named first-team All-South Region and second-team All-American by the Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA). She also was a National Scholar Athlete, along with Tiger rowers Kristen Weinacker and Sarah Canterbury. Freshman coxswain Liz Giannini was named second-team All-South Region, while novice coach Kelly Lynch was named South Region Assistant of the Year for the third consecutive spring. Clemson finished third in the South Region and 10th overall at the Aramark Central/South Sprints to conclude the season.

 

Justin Moore

Men’s Soccer Clemson’s men’s soccer team’s season included a pair of overtime victories, triumphs over NC State (4-3) and Stetson (3-2). Steven Rhyne was the top scorer on the team and one of the best in the ACC with 11 goals and 27 total points. Justin Moore, a third-team All-South performer, was the second leading scorer on the club. Moore, Rhyne and Stuart Holden were all second-team All-ACC selections and Brad Gibson was a South Region Academic All-American.

Nathan Sturgis, an ACC All-Freshman selection, was named to the United States team for the World Youth Soccer Championships and he led the US to victory over four-time champion Argentina in June.

 

 

 

Paige Ledford

Women’s Soccer Clemson’s women’s soccer program continued its incredible streak of reaching the NCAA Tournament and finishing in the top 25 nationally. Every year in the program’s history (now 11 years), the Lady Tigers have reached the NCAA tournament and had a top 25 final ranking in at least one of the polls.

Todd Bramble’s team started the season in fine fashion, gaining a 1-0 victory at 13th ranked Texas and a 4-1 win over fourth ranked Texas A&M. It marked the first time the program had recorded consecutive top 15 victories on the same road trip, and the win over fourth ranked Texas A&M was the highest ranked road win in the program’s history. Goal keeper Ashley Phillips was named to Soccer America’s National Team of the Week after she had 14 saves and allowed just one goal in the two wins in Texas. Clemson was ranked fourth in the nation after a 5-0 start.

Paige Ledford and Allison Graham were both named first-team All-ACC and second-team All-Region and were both first-team All-Regional selections to the All-Academic team. Lindsey Browne concluded her Clemson career ranked third in career scoring as she became the third Lady Tiger to reach the 100 point mark for her career, and she also finished third in career assists.

Tommy Rappold

Men’s Swimming Tommy Rappold had an outstanding senior season to lead the Clemson men’s swimming program. He joined a rare list of Clemson Athletes who were all-conference performers in the pool and earned Academic All-America honors. He was the ACC Champion in the 100 fly and earned first-team ESPN Academic All-America honors. Rappold became the seventh athlete in Clemson history to earn Academic All-America honors more than once.

Clemson finished second at the NIKE Cup, one of the nation’s premier mid-season invitational meets. Rappold won both the 100 fly and the 100 back at that event, while freshman Mark Vahle was victorious in the 50 free and Eric Shulick took home the one meter diving title.

Twelve student-athletes, including six freshmen, set 23 Clemson all-time top 10 bests. Rappold set a school mark in the 100 fly, while Buddy Reed set a new standard in the 200 free. Clemson also set a school record in the 800 free relay at the ACC Championships.

 

Kim Routh

Women’s SwimmingJunior Kim Routh was the standout of the Clemson women’s swimming team, leading the Lady Tigers to a number-34 place finish at the NCAA meet. Routh won two ACC Championships this year, taking the 500 free and the 1650 free. She then finished 13th in the 500 free and 15th in the 1650 free at the NCAAs to earn a pair of honorable mention All-America selections. Routh will be a three-time All-American entering her senior year in 2005-06.

The Lady Tigers finished fifth at the NIKE Cup, one of the nation’s premier mid-season invitational meets. Routh took first place in the 500 free and the 1650 to lead the Lady Tigers. Five Clemson swimmers combined to establish six Clemson top 10 times, including Routh’s school record in the 1650.

Franchele Klaus was a recipient a Weaver-James-Corrigan scholarship from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Nathan Thompson

Men’s Tennis Clemson won at least 25 matches for the third consecutive year, a first in the history of the program. It was another outstanding year for the Tigers under Coach Chuck Kriese, who celebrated his 31st season a Clemson head coach with another NCAA Tournament bid. The Tigers reached the final 32 of the tournament before being eliminated by Georgia in Athens.

The season featured a 15-match winning streak, the longest by a Tiger men’s tennis team since the Tigers had a school record 18-match winning streak in 1980. The final victory of that 15-game streak was a 4-3 win at Southern Cal, Clemson’s first ever win over the Trojans in Los Angeles.

The Tigers were led by senior Nathan Thompson, who finished the year with a 24-10 individual record as the Tigers number-one player. Thompson was named the ACC Player of the Year and the Regional Player of the year. His season included a career best and team season best 17-match winning streak.

Julie Coin

Women’s Tennis Under the tutelage of ninth-year head coach Nancy Harris, the women’s tennis team made its second consecutive appearance at the NCAA Final Four, tying its previous all-time best performance set in 2004. It marked the first time in history any Clemson women’s sports program reached the Final Four in consecutive years.

The Tigers finished third in the ACC regular season standings, and tied for third at the ACC Tournament before playing host to the region tournament. Clemson won its second consecutive region title, with wins over Furman and the College of William & Mary on its home courts. In Athens, GA, the site of the NCAA Team and Individual Tournament, the Tigers continued their winning ways with victories over Northwestern and North Carolina before falling to eventual National Champion Stanford by a score of 4-2.

Individually, Julie Coin earned her second consecutive All-America honor as she finished the season ranked #2 by the ITA, the highest final ranking for a Tiger tennis player in program history. The graduate from Amiens, France, advanced to the Elite Eight in the singles bracket, and teamed up with Alix Lacelarie, another 2005 graduate, to advance to the round of 16 in the doubles draw. The Tigers’ top tandem finished the season ranked 10th in the final ITA doubles poll, earning All-America honors. Sophomore Maria Brito and freshman Romy Farah joined Coin as All-ACC selections, and Coin was also named the ITA’s Southeast Region Senior Player of the Year.

Leslie Finn

Volleyball, 2004 The 2004 volleyball team recorded 20 wins for the first time since the 1999 season. Along the way, the Tigers produced some memorable victories. Clemson’s 3-0 win over N.C. State to open the ACC season was the 100th conference win in the career of Jolene Jordan Hoover, the school’s all-time winningest volleyball coach. The Tigers scored the biggest upset of the ACC season by knocking off the top-seeded and previously unbeaten Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament, 3-1.

Outside hitter Leslie Finn set school single-season (684) and career records (1,906) for kills. She led the ACC and ranked eighth nationally with 5.61 kills per game. Her standout senior season was enough to earn her honorable mention All-America honors. She became just the second Tiger volleyball player to earn All-America honors, the first since Cindy Stern accomplished the feat in 1999. She was also a first-team All-ACC, first-team All-Region, and All-ACC Tournament selection. Fellow senior Lori Ashton earned second-team All-ACC honors and ended her career first in Clemson history in career hitting percentage with a .335 figure.

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