CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson Volleyball team captured a four-set victory against Notre Dame inside Jervey Gym on Friday evening. Clemson captured the 3-1 win (28-26, 25-17, 16-25, 25-20) in front of 1,242 fans, the third largest crowd in Jervey Gym this season, and improved to 15-10 (6-7 ACC) on the year. It also marks the first time Clemson has won two-consecutive matches against the Fighting Irish since Clemson won in 2013 and 2014.
The Tigers found their stride at the service line tallying 10 aces between six different players, including five in the fourth set with the final point of the match coming on an ace from Mckenna Slavik. Slavik, Mia McGrath, Becca Micelle and Kennedy Wagner all added two aces, while Adria Powell and Devan Taylor finished with one each.
Powell led the team offensively with 17.5 points off 14 kills and four blocks (one solo, three assisted). Wagner added 13.5 points behind 10 kills and two blocks, and McGrath rounded out the Tigers with double-digit points, clocking 11. Slavik, Taylor and McKenna Gildon finished with 11 digs each, and Slavik tallied her 13th double-double with 37 assists as well.
Clemson battled to take the opening set. Both the Tigers and the Fighting Irish traded large scoring runs until action became tied at 12-all. From there on, it was a back-and-forth match that was dominated on the Clemson side by Powell tallying six kills. Wagner added four, while junior Azyah Dailey came up with three to propel Clemson’s offense. Clemson made the most crucial comeback of the opening frame as Notre Dame advanced to set-point with a 24-21 lead. Wagner and Powell clocked back-to-back solo blocks and a combined kill to make it 26-25 in Clemson’s favor and force the Fighting Irish to call timeout. Coming out of the timeout, Powell and Wagner secured the 28-26 set win with a kill and ace, respectively.
The second set was dominated by the Tigers, who opened the set on a 9-3 run. Notre Dame pulled within one to make it 11-10 in Clemson’s favor, but the Tigers continued to push the tempo and ended the set on an 8-4 run with kills coming from Powell, Wagner, McGrath and Slavik to take set two, 25-17. Notre Dame forced a fourth set after taking set three, 25-16. Kate Simington tallied Clemson’s lone block in the set with a solo block that attempted to spark the Tigers, but it wasn’t enough. The third set also marked the first set on the evening that Clemson didn’t have an ace in after finishing with three in the first and two in the second.
Clemson clinched the match in the fourth after behind its five aces, including three within the last eight points courtesy of Micelle and Slavik. The Tigers got multiple offensive threats moving, seeing kills from Dailey, Simington and McGrath to take the lead. In the end, Clemson was able to push their advantage to five-points to take the set and match, 25-20.
The Tigers return to action on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. taking on Louisville for Senior Day. Sunday’s match will also play host to the final match played in current Jervey Gym before Clemson begins the process of renovating the gym that includes raising the roof, as well as a new locker room, lounge and meeting areas for the volleyball program, and major improvements to the gameday experience. In total, the renovation will reallocate 14,000 square feet of space.