Aug. 25, 2006
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN – The Clemson volleyball team picked up its first win of the 2006 season on Friday night, defeating Bradley, 3-0, at the Mortar Board Premier on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN. Three Tigers posted 13 kills in the match, while the team recorded 10 total blocks.
Jeannette Abbott, Danielle Hepburn and Leslie Mansfield tied for team-high honors with 13 kills, while Hepburn also added six blocks and hit a career high .522 in the match. Meghan Steiner and Courtney Lawrence also added four block assists in the contest.
Clemson played without the services of preseason All-ACC honoree Brittany Ross, who did not travel with the team due to an illness.
Kelly Niemeyer and Amber DeBroux posted 13 kills apiece for the Braves, while Sam Black recorded three service aces.
After experiencing a little first-match anxiety, the Tigers claimed the first game over the Braves by a score of 30-24. Bradley claimed the first two points of the match on the service of Black. Clemson tied the game twice, at 9-9 and 20-20, before taking its first lead at 21-20 on a kill by Steiner. The Tigers then distanced themselves from the Braves, going ahead 28-23, and scored their 30th point on a block assist by Hepburn and Mansfield. The same Clemson duo also posted four kills apiece in the game, while freshman Lia Proctor recorded the first kill of her career to score the Tigers’ 18th point.
A hard-fought second game saw 13 tie scores and just one rally of over three points, but Clemson prevailed with the 30-28 victory to take a 2-0 lead in the match. After trailing, 27-25, the Tigers took a brief lead with freshman Courtney Lawrence.
The third game began similarly to the second as the score alternated back-and-forth. However, the Tigers put together a seven-point rally to go up, 26-18. Leslie Mansfield notched two kills during the stretch, posted Clemson’s 28th and 29th points on kills and served the match-point to give the Tigers a 30-21 game three and their first victory of the 2006 season.
Following the match, the Mortar Board, a national honor society that recognizes college seniors for distinguished ability and achievement in scholarship, leadership and service, presented three Tiger student-athletes with awards. Meghan Steiner accepted the Community Service award for Brittany Ross.
Day two action at the Mortar Board Premier will begin at 12:00 noon on Saturday for the Tigers, as they will face the Panthers of Northern Iowa. Clemson will then play host Purdue at 7:00 pm later that evening. Fans can view free video coverage of the Tigers’ match with the Boilermakers at www.purduesports.com and can follow both matches via Gametracker by accessing www.clemsontigers.com.
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