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Clemson Volleyball Falls in Five Sets at Virginia Tech

Oct. 17, 2009

 

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BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech Hokies stunned the Clemson Tigers in Saturday Volleyball action, coming back from a 21-14 deficit in the third set with Clemson up 2-0 in the match. The Hokies (15-5, 5-4 ACC) remained a perfect 10-0 at home this season, while the Tigers (14-6, 5-4 ACC)fall to 2-5 in five-set matches this season. Lia Proctor led Clemson with 19 kills, and also registered 22 digs. Didem Ege had 29 digs for the Tigers, giving her 2,065 for her career.

Justine Record had a career-high 26 kills to lead the Hokies, while Jennifer Wiker had a career-best 15 as well, while Libero Jill Gergen had 36 digs.

Kelsey Murphy had 49 assists and matched a career-high with seven kills. Freshman Natalie Patzin had 12 kills and nine digs, while Sandra Adeleye had 10 kills and three blocks. Alexa Rand had nine kills and six block assists. Proctor’s double-double was her eighth of the season, which leads the ACC.

In the first set, the two teams traded blows early on, trading points until Virginia Tech took an 8-7 lead. Clemson responded with a 4-0 run to take an 11-8 lead. Chris Riley called a time to try and slow Clemson doing so successfully. The teams traded points, before the Hokies took a 18-16 lead after a 6-2 burst. The Tigers fought back with a 5-0 run behind a pair of kills from Patzin, taking a 21-18 lead. The Tigers closed out the set, 25-20, as Patzin’s serve found the floor between Gergen and O’Neil. Patzin was the unquestioned offensive leader, tallying five kills in the set, as Clemson hit .250, committing only three attack errors, while taking advantage of seven by the Hokies. Didem Ege had ten digs in the set, while her counterpart Gergen had 13. The set featured 12 tied scores and seven lead changes.

The second set provided more suspense, as the teams slugged it out into extra points, with Clemson prevailing 29-27. Virginia Tech fended off the Tigers, who had a 24-21 lead late in the set. The Hokies went on a 3-0 run to tie the match at 24-24. Clemson took the next point , before Tech took the next two to force Clemson into a desperation situation. Lia Proctor answered with a kill, her ninth of the set, and then a solo block to give the Tigers a 27-26 lead. Record answered with an emphatic kill, but a block from Rand and Murphy and a kill by Adeleye on a 50/50 ball put the set away for the Tigers. The Tigers hit only .167 in the set, but held the Hokies to a .113 mark. Ege again had 10 digs, while the Tigers got back to solid defense, recording seven blocks in the set, including four from Rand and Jessica Williams.

In the third set with the score knotted at four, Clemson went on a 7-1 run to take a 13-6 lead. Tech fought back to 15-11 before Murphy attacked off an Ege service return for a kill and Lia Proctor had her second solo block, and Clemson stretched the lead to 18-11. Clemson looked to have put the match out of reach at 21-14, but Virginia Tech responded with a 10-2 run to take a one-point lead behind Justine Record, who had five kills in the run. Clemson tied the score at 13 on a kill by Natalie Patzin, but another kill from Record and Jennifer Wiker completed a seven-point comeback set victory for the Hokies, who won, 26-24 to pull the match to 2-1. The Tigers hit .189 in the set, while Virginia Tech hit .196 with 17 kills to Clemson’s 12. Record tallied eight kills in the set, and Wiker had six.

The teams traded points in the third set with Clemson tying the score at seven early in the set. Virginia Tech put some distance, going on a 7-2 run to take a 14-9 lead. Clemson fought all the way back to within one point at 21-20, but a 4-1 run put the set away for the Hokies, who hit .243 in the set and making only six errors while the Tigers made eight errors. Record had six kills for Tech, while Rand led the Tigers with four kills and two blocks.

In the fifth and deciding set, Virginia Tech took a 5-1 lead behind a pair of aces from Record. The Hokies stretched the lead to six at 12-6. Clemson answered with a 6-1 run to pull within one at 13-12. With Clemson facing match point at 14-12, Proctor answered with a kill before Jessica Williams hit into a Wiker/ Horowitz block to end the match.

The Tigers return to action Tuesday against Charlotte, before playing host to Duke and Wake Forest during the weekend. The match with Wake Forest will be Clemson’s dig pink match, an annual breast cancer awareness fundraiser.

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