Oct. 1, 2002
CLEMSON, SC – The Clemson volleyball team dropped a five-game thriller to 11th-ranked North Carolina at Jervey Gym. The Tar Heels edged the Tigers 3-2 (32-30, 22-30, 23-30, 30-25, 15-17) at Jervey Gym, snapping Clemson’s 10-match home win-streak. Clemson falls to 11-7 overall and 2-1 in the ACC, while North Carolina improves to 14-1 overall and 2-0 in league play.
The numbers of the teams were close, as Clemson hit .210 for the match to North Carolina’s .232 hitting percentage. The Tigers posted 12 team blocks while the Tar Heels had 13 team blocks. Clemson tallied 79 digs to UNC’s 76 defensive saves, and the Tigers served up eight aces to the Tar Heels’ six aces.
The Tigers were led by Lori Ashton who had 21 kills with six blocks (one solo), while Marija Zoric posted a career-high 10 kills with six blocks (two solo) and a .333 hitting percentage. Leslie Finn added 16 kills with a career-best 20 digs, and Ryane Beasley had 12 kills. Jessi Betcher handed out 57 assists with 11 digs and six kills, and Finn and Carly Hill had three service aces each. Stephanie Haskell posted 20 digs, while Hill added 10 digs.
Head coach Jolene Jordan Hoover said, “It was a great match to take UNC to five at home with a two-point decision in the fifth game. We just keep playing harder and harder, and we will be ready at the ACC Tournament.”
Laura Greene led UNC with 22 kills and 13 digs, while Holly Strauss and Molly Pyles had 13 kills each. Malaika Underwood and Aletha Green had 10 kills each, and Underwood had 16 digs along with Caroline deRoeck’s 16 defensive saves. Green posted a match-best eight blocks (two solo).
Clemson claimed game one, winning 32-30 behind a .238 team hitting percentage as the Tigers held the Tar Heels to a .191 hitting percentage. Clemson was led by Marija Zoric and Leslie Finn who tallied five kills each, and Jessi Betcher handed out 16 assists. UNC’s Laura Greene recorded five kills while Malaika Underwood and Molly Pyles added four kills each. Eve Rackham dished out 16 assists.
In game two, North Carolina hit .382 while holding the Tigers to a .139 hitting percentage. UNC’s Pyles had five kills to lead the Tar Heels, and Rackham tallied 15 assists. For Clemson, Ashton recorded four kills and Betcher added 10 assists.
UNC controlled game three, hitting .283 while Clemson hit .130 for the game. The Tar Heels’ Holly Strauss tallied five kills and Rackman recorded 12 assists, while Aletha Green had four blocks (two solo). Clemson’s Zoric led the TIgers with seven kills, and Betcher had 10 assists.
Clemson rebounded in game four, hitting .298 to the Tar Heels’ .155 hitting percentage to level the match at two games each. Ashton hit .429 with seven kills, and Betcher passed out 11 assists. UNC’s Laura Greene had seven kills while Rackham had 14 assists.
In the decisive game, Clemson saved two match points before falling 15-17. The Tigers outhit the Tar Heels .250 to .192, and had two blocks to UNC’s none. Ashton and Leslie Finn had four kills, and Betcher had 10 assists. The Tar Heels’ Dani Nyenhuis led UNC with four kills and three digs, while Rackham handed out seven assists.
The Tigers return to action Saturday and Sunday at Jervey Gym as they play host to Florida State on Oct. 5 and NC State on Oct. 6. The match against the Seminoles is slated for 4:00 PM Saturday, and first serve against the Wolfpack is slated for 2:00 PM Sunday.
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