GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Clemson Volleyball team (5-3) pushed No. 3 Florida in each set, but ultimately dropped the Friday evening match, 3-0 (15-25, 17-25, 24-25), inside the Exactech Arena at Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
The Tigers battled with a spread offense as Kennedy Wagner (six kills), Katie Hurta (five kills) and Mia Moore (four kills) led the team. Mckenna Slavik tallied 18 assists, three aces and eight digs, while freshman McKenna Gildon led the team with her first double-digit dig performance of her collegiate career with 11. Adria Powell finished with a team-high four blocks (one solo, three assisted), and Wagner added two (one solo, one assisted).
Despite Florida opening the match on a 3-0 run, Clemson responded as sophomore Mia McGrath earned the first ace of the match, and Moore followed with a kill. The Tigers further dug away at the Gators’ lead to tie set one after Slavik and Kate Simington combined for a monster block to make it 12-all. Heading into the media timeout, Clemson trailed by only two, 15-13, but the Gators went on a scoring run to take the set, 25-15.
Clemson gained momentum to begin the second set going on a 5-2 run. Florida responded, but Hurta kept the Tigers in the set with two crucial kills. Wagner, Moore and Simington added kills down the stretch. Clemson benefitted off multiple service errors by Florida, but the Gators took set two, 25-17.
The Tigers once again responded out of the gate in set three as Powell had a solo block, and the Gators tallied multiple attacking errors that required Florida to call an early timeout as Clemson led 7-3. Clemson remained strong with an ace from Slavik, a kill from McGrath and a combined block from Wagner and Powell to lead 15-10. Florida tied things at 18-all, and the two programs traded the lead until Powell and Azyah Dailey combined for a block to make it 23-all. Dailey came up with a crucial kill to keep Clemson in the match, but ultimately Florida took set three, 26-24, for the match win.
Clemson concludes the Gators Invitational tomorrow at noon when the Tigers take on Sacramento State.