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Clemson Tops No. 49 Slovenia in Exhibition

Clemson Tops No. 49 Slovenia in Exhibition

CLEMSON, SC – The Clemson volleyball team topped the Slovenian Senior National Team, 3-2 (25-21, 25-23, 22-25, 16-25, 15-10) on Tuesday night in Jervey Gym in an exhibition match. Slovenia entered the match ranked 49th in the World Volleyball Rankings. Clemson took the first two sets, but needed all five to hold on against the European squad, which is preparing for qualifying for the 12-team European Volleyball Championships. “It was definitely a different type of challenge,” said Jolene Jordan Hoover. “They play a different style with a lot of high balls to the outside, and we tried to stay in our tempo, which is a little bit quicker. When we had success, we were able to dictate the pace, and I think we got away from that as they made their comeback.”Sandra Adeleye showed why she’s been named to All-ACC teams in each of her previous three seasons, as she led Clemson with 17 kills and nine blocks, including four of each in the deciding fifth set. The win was hardly a fluke for Clemson, who had just one fewer kill in the match, but out-hit Slovenia .309-.291, had fewer service errors, more digs (49-44), and more blocks (14.0-11.0). “It was important for us to get the first set and feel like it was okay to be competitive, even if it didn’t count toward our record,” said Hoover. “We tried to work on some things toward the end of the fourth set, so we were able to change momentum a little bit heading into that fifth set. Then, Sandra took over, and helped get us to a five point lead in her rotation. She was terrific in that set, and I was proud of how we reacted.” Clemson spread the ball around all night, with four players finishing in double-figures in kills, led by Adeleye. Mo Simmons (13k-4e-25a-.360hp, 10d), Alexa Rand (12k-2e-22a .455hp), and Kristin Faust (10k-8e-25a) helped lead the offense that hit .309 for the match and .375 in the deciding set. Setter Hannah Brenner spread the ball, and propelled Clemson to 64 kills, 52 of which we off her sets. Teammates converted 52-of-107 set attempts from Brenner, an extremely efficient amount. Libero Natalie Patzin led all players with 17 digs, and was 35-36 in serve receive opportunities. Anja Zdvoc had 26 kills in 57 attacks to lead all players, but had three over her five errors in the fifth set after knocking down ten kills in the fourth set. Tjasa Turnsek also had 20 kills, and registered ten digs for Slovenia. The first two sets were tight, but Clemson won the first, 25-21 while hitting .423 and siding out on 77 percent of Slovenia’s services. The Tigers then fought off a 14-9 deficit in the second set to win, 25-23, despite a slow offensive set from both teams. Slovenia’s offense and passing picked up in sets three and four, leading to 33 of their 65 kills in those two sets alone. Clemson opened up a small lead in the fifth set behind the serving of Lou Davis, who appeared in four sets, had 13 serves and two digs on the evening. Clemson led 11-5 behind Adeleye’s power, and a a few service errors helped get her back into the rotation, where she combined on a block with Serenat Yaz to close the match. Yaz had seven kills, three digs, and a would-be-career-high eight blocks. Clemson will return to NCAA action this weekend as they play host to the Clemson Classic. The Tigers play Charlotte at 6:30 pm on Friday and play Chattanooga and East Tennessee State on Saturday. Slovenia, who thrashed Georgia in three sets on Sunday, will play at South Carolina on Wednesday in Columbia, before traveling back to Europe to begin qualifying for the Euro Championships. They are in a four-team pool with France, Belgium, and Montenegro for that event.

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