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Sep 14, 2018

Volleyball Goes 2-0 Friday at Sugar Bowl Classic

Volleyball Goes 2-0 Friday at Sugar Bowl Classic

Villanova Box Score  //  Little Rock Box Score

NEW ORLEANS – The Clemson volleyball team defeated Villanova in four sets (27-25, 26-24, 20-25, 32-30) and swept Little Rock (26-24, 25-23, 25-22) Friday at Tulane’s Sugar Bowl Classic. With their pair of wins Friday, the Tigers tallied their fifth straight victory, having won eight of their last nine matchups, and improved to 9-3 overall, Clemson’s best regular-season start since 2014. The Tigers were propelled by two late-set comebacks against Villanova Friday morning.

 

“I’m extremely proud of our team for the fight they showed today,” said Clemson head coach Michaela Franklin. “It would have been easy to just turn it in and say, ‘okay, let’s focus on the next [set versus Villanova].’ They didn’t do that. They took it one point at a time and that showed a lot of fight and resiliency. We took care of our side of the net which is what we needed, especially with having such a young team.”

Clemson won its first-ever matchup against the Wildcats, despite trailing by seven points late in the second set and eight points deep into the fourth. Villanova also had set point, 24-20, in the second, but the Tigers registered six unanswered points, taking the game and a 2-0 lead heading into the break. The Wildcats responded in set No. 3, with an early lead, one in which Clemson could not overcome as the Wildcats went on to take the set, 25-20. Clemson found itself trailing, 23-15, late in fourth, but the Tigers sparked an 11-3 run and would eventually tie the game at 24-24 after another 6-0 run while the Wildcats had set point in their favor. The Tigers went on to win the final set in extra points, 32-20, with the match-winning point coming on a Solei Thomas kill from the right side.

Freshman Ashtynne Alberts recorded her fifth double-double of the year after posting a career-best 19 kills on 51 attempts along with 13 digs, while hitting .294. Redshirt-sophomore Brooke Bailey (14 kills), Thomas (11 kills) and sophomore Alyssa Deloney (10 kills) all reached double-digit kills for the Tigers. Deloney recorded a match-high .529 hitting percentage.

Deloney picked up where she left off in Clemson’s sweep over the Trojans Saturday afternoon. The Houston native tallied 12 kills while, once again, achieving a match-high .600 hitting percentage. Freshman setter Gabby Easton recorded 34 assists against Little Rock, on par with her ACC-leading 11.78 assists-per-set average. Freshman libero Torie Frederick and sophomore defensive specialist Madi Howell also added 12 digs each.

Up next, the Tigers take on Tulane (10-3, 0-0 American) Saturday at 3 p.m. (EST). Saturday’s contest against the Green Wave will stream here. A win over the Green Wave Saturday would give Clemson its third consecutive tournament title.

For complete coverage of the Clemson volleyball team, follow @ClemsonVB on Twitter and Instagram, and @ClemsonVolleyball on Facebook.

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