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Sep 09, 2023

Hurta, Tigers Sting Hornets

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Redshirt freshman Katie Hurta finished with a career-high 19 kills, and freshman Kennedy Wagner added 13, as Clemson (6-3) defeated Sacramento State (5-3) in five sets (25-19, 16-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-13) on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers also clocked 10 aces, including three from Adria Powell, two from Wagner, Mckenna Slavik and Mckenna Gildon and one from Mia McGrath.

Hurta finished the match hitting .351, while Wagner clocked a .323 hitting percentage. Slavik and Powell rounded out Clemson as the third and fourth Tigers to hit above .300 with a .400 and .312, respectively. Slavik led the team with 44 assists and added 15 digs, while Powell added a team-high six blocks (three solo, three assisted). Junior Devan Taylor led the program with 20 digs, also a season high, and freshman Kate Simington and junior Azyah Dailey both added three blocks.

Clemson started the match in dominant fashion as McGrath, Powell and Gildon clocked aces within Clemson’s first eight points. The Tigers were able to keep their scoring runs alive with strong attacking from Hurta, Dailey and Wagner to finish with a .375 hitting percentage that allowed Clemson to take the 25-19 set victory.

Both Clemson and Sacramento State were deadlocked as the second set got underway with the teams trading scoring runs. The Tigers looked to hit a stride after Powell and Dailey combined for a block, but the Hornets responded with a 7-2 scoring run to take the lead. Hurta kept the Tigers in it with her sixth and seventh kills of the match, and a solo block from Powell aided the fight, but it wasn’t enough as Sacramento State took set two, 25-16.

Sacramento State jumped out to the lead in the third set going on a six-point scoring run to make it 9-4, but Hurta brought the Tigers back within reach clock three-consecutive kills. Slavik clocked the team’s fifth ace of the match, and added a block down the stretch with Simington to keep the Tigers in the set, but the Hornets capitalized on two Clemson attacking errors to take the set 25-21.

The Tigers battled through the fourth set after the Hornets took an early 10-4 lead. Behind two different 8-0 scoring runs with Slavik and Powell at the service line, Clemson came back to take the lead. The first run was led by Dailey, Wagner and Powell finishing with kills, while the second one had Powell finishing with two aces and Hurta, Dailey and Simington clocking kills. Clemson forced a fifth set after McGrath and Simington combined for a block to take set four, 25-21.

Clemson opened the fifth on a hot streak, taking a 6-2 lead that forced Sacramento State to call timeout after back-to-back aces from Wagner. The Hornets closed the gap down to two, but two kills from Hurta had the two programs switching sides with Clemson leading 8-5. The Hornets tied things at 13-all before Clemson tabbed a block from Powell and Dailey, and Powell finished the match with a kill for a 15-13 set and match victory.

Up Next

Clemson returns to the court and continues its road stretch next Thursday traveling to Tulane for the Tulane Invitational where the Tigers will play host Tulane, Houston Christian and UTEP over the course of three days.