Sept. 2, 2006
CLEMSON, SC – The Clemson volleyball team concluded play in the 2006 Big Orange Bash, defeating Charlotte in four games on Saturday afternoon. South Carolina won the tournament and the Gamecocks’ Shonda Cole was named the Most Valuable Player. Clemson finished second, while Tennessee State placed third. Charlotte and Western Carolina were fourth and fifth, respectively.
South Carolina’s Iris Santos and Belita Salters were also named to the All-Big Orange Bash team, while Danielle Hepburn and Didem Ege of Clemson were selected as well, the second such honor for Hepburn in as many weeks. Also earning the accolade were Lizzy Rondone of Western Carolina, Meesha Jackson of Tennessee State and Jessica Oldenburg of Charlotte.
With a 3-1 record in the event, the Tigers improved their overall record to 4-3. Clemson recorded 18 total blocks in the contest, which tied for third-most in program history. Setter Courtney Lawrence recorded the 2,000th assist of her Clemson career, finishing the match with 20 to lead the Tigers in the statistical category.
Danielle Hepburn had a team-best seven blocks, while Meghan Steiner and Jeannette Abbott led the team with 17 kills and Leslie Mansfield contributed 16 kills with a .625 hitting percentage against the 49ers.
Mansfield posted four kills in just five attempts in the first game, leading the Tigers to a 30-20 game-victory. Charlotte then edged Clemson in the second game by a 30-27 margin before the Tiger responded with wins in games three and four.
In game three, Clemson jumped out to an early 9-4 advantage and extended its lead to 14 points at 25-11 on the service of Abbott. After the 49ers posted their 12th and 13th points, the Tigers scored their final three on the service of Didem Ege.
Ege then served six points in the fourth game to help the Tigers post a 30-23 win and clinch the match.
In other Big Orange Bash action, Tennessee State won the first match of the day, defeating Western Carolina in four games. Erika Godbolt led the TSU Tigers with 20 kills and 21 defensive saves, while Heather Koontz had 11 kills for the Catamounts. South Carolina overpowered Western Carolina in three games, as Cole tallied 16 kills and three total blocks. In the tournament finale, Charlotte defeated Tennessee State in a five-game thriller.
The Tigers will take a two-week hiatus before playing host to Furman on Saturday, Sept. 16 in Jervey Gym.
Big Orange Bash All-Tournament Team Shonda Cole, MVP Didem Ege, Clemson Danielle Hepburn, Clemson Meesha Jackson, Tennessee State Jessica Oldenburg, Charlotte Lizzy Rondone, Western Carolina Belita Salters, South Carolina Iris Santos, South Carolina
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