Sept. 22, 2007
CHAPEL HILL, NC – Four Clemson volleyball players recorded double-digit kills and setter Kelsey Murphy tallied 56 assists as the Tigers (9-2, 2-0 ACC) won their first match over North Carolina on its home court since 1999. Clemson rallied for a win in the fourth game to post the 3-1 victory against the Tar Heels (5-7, 1-2 ACC) at the Carmichael Auditorium on Saturday evening.
“That was a great road win for us,” Tiger Head Coach Jolene Jordan Hoover said. “I am so proud of how hard this team battled. We were in a similar situation last year here and lost, so it was good to finish against a strong Tar Heel team.”
Senior co-captain Leslie Mansfield scored the final point of the match for Clemson and commented, “It feels amazing to come here and finally play to our potential. They were a fantastic team, but we came out fighting and were able to get the win.”
Junior Jeannette Abbott led the Tiger squad with 20 kills, while Meghan Steiner and Danielle Hepburn each added 16 and Lia Proctor totaled 13 kills. Defensively, four Clemson players totaled at least 10 digs as well with Didem Ege heading the list with 24.
Lauren Prussing posted a team-best 15 kills for the Tar Heels.
The Tar Heels held the upper hand early in the first game as they led by a 9-7 margin. However, a five-point Tiger run gave the visitors a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The advantage stretched to six before North Carolina pulled within one at 19-18 after back-to-back blocks. Steiner responded for Clemson with three straight kills and the Tigers went on to win the frame, 30-23, as Murphy ended the game on a powerful kill.
The Tigers then used a trio of three-point runs to take a 15-7 lead over North Carolina in the second game. They widened the margin to 11 thanks to a five-point rally that included Hepburn’s third solo block of the frame. Kills by Steiner and Leslie Mansfield put Clemson on top 28-15 and Proctor scored the team’s 29 th point.
The Tar Heels avoided three game points before erring to give the Tigers the 30-19 victory and a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Tigers faced a tight third game for the second night in a row but came out on the short end on Saturday. The score remained close until a five-point North Carolina run gave it a 22-17 lead. Clemson caught up at 24 after a four-point rally and kills by Proctor and Hepburn, but the Tigers were unable to overtake the Tar Heels. North Carolina went on to win the frame, 30-27.
Clemson erased an early five-point deficit in the fourth game to finally knot the score at 17 apiece. The Tigers then scored three straight points to take a 23-22 lead, but the teams were then tied four times until the Tar Heels posted the next three points. Clemson avoided game point with kills by Abbott and a crucial block by seniors Steiner and Mansfield. After giving up point #30 for North Carolina, the Tigers closed out the game and the match on three straight kills by Steiner, Proctor and Mansfield’s clincher.
The Tigers will return to Jervey Gym next weekend as they play host to Virginia Tech and Virginia. Clemson and the Hokies will meet on Friday night and the Cavaliers will be in town on Saturday evening.
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