Nov. 8, 2008
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WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Danielle Hepburn recorded a season-high 23 kills and tallied seven blocks in leading the Clemson volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-23, 25-22, 22-25, 25-22) victory at Wake Forest on Saturday night. With the win, the Tigers improved to 19-7 on the year with an 11-4 record against ACC opponents.
The 23 kills were one shy of Hepburn’s personal best as the Miami, FL native did not record an error until the fourth set. Lia Proctor and Jeannette Abbott also totaled double figures in kills against the Demon Deacons, while five Tigers tallied at least 10 defensive saves led by libero Didem Ege’s 17.
Lauren McIntyre led Wake Forest (16-11, 7-8 ACC) with 16 kills, and Megan Thornberry recorded 21 digs for the Demon Deacon defensive effort.
Hepburn recorded eight kills in the first set, putting down nearly every ball she was set for a .727 hitting percentage in the frame. She also had a pair of block assists as the Tigers recorded six team blocks in the set to hold Wake Forest to a meager. 047 hitting average. Clemson opened the match with powerful kills by Hepburn and Proctor while Hepburn teamed with Kelsey Murphy for a block to score the Tigers’ third point. Clemson appeared in control of the set early, and although the Demon Deacons tied the score at 15 apiece, they never held a lead. Back-to-back Hepburn kills put the Tigers on top 23-20, and the senior middle’s eighth kill of the set followed two straight by Wake Forest’s Natalie Mullikin. Clemson went on to win, 25-23.
Hepburn remained errorless through the second set, posting kills to begin and end the set. The Tigers used a six-point run on Murphy’s service to gain separation. Clemson held off the Demon Deacons’ late rally for the 25-22 win and a 2-0 lead in the match. Proctor led the offense with five kills while the team posted 16 and hit at a .314 clip in the set.
Wake Forest withstood a six-point Tiger run that put them ahead, 20-19, for their first lead of the third set, but Natalie Mullikin put the Deacs back on top with a pair of kills. Following a Proctor kill, Mullikin recorded another kill and Wake Forest went up, 24-21. Hepburn’s fifth kill of the set returned the serve to Clemson, but a dump by the Demon Deacon setter clinched the win.
Trailing by a 6-1 margin to start the fourth set, the Tigers rallied for six straight points for the slight edge. Hepburn posted two kills and two block assists during the run en route to six and three, respectively, for the set. Wake Forest regained a three-point advantage at 14-11 and led again at 18-16. However, Clemson limited the Deacs to just four points the rest of the way. The teams were knotted at 21-21 when the Tigers scored three straight
The Tigers will return to action next weekend as they travel to Florida for dates with the Seminoles and Hurricanes.
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