CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson Volleyball program fought to capture the first set against No. 13 Georgia Tech, but ultimately dropped the match, 3-1 (31-29, 13-25, 15-25, 16-25) on Wednesday evening inside Jervey Gym. Clemson’s opening set victory marked the first time the Tigers have taken a set from the Yellow Jackets since 2020, and the first time the Tigers have taken the opening set from Georgia Tech since 2019.
The Tigers were led by graduate Adria Powell who clocked 10 points off seven kills and four blocks (two solo, two assisted). Sophomore Mia McGrath tallied nine kills and nine digs, while Mckenna Slavik finished with her fifth double-double of the year adding a team-high 12 digs and 31 assists. Freshmen McKenna Gildon (11 digs) and Kennedy Wagner (two aces) rounded out the top performances of the evening.
Clemson came out on top in a tight first set, battling through 15 ties and six lead changes to clinch a 31-29 victory. This was the Tigers’ first opening set win in Jervey Gym against the Yellow Jackets since Oct. 12, 2014, only allowing the Yellow Jackets as much as a two-point advantage throughout the entire set. Crucial blocks by Powell and kills from McGrath and Powell after long rallies helped cement the set victory for Clemson. This dramatic first set followed a similar trend to Clemson’s last win versus Georgia Tech on Nov. 11, 2015, where the Tigers won the opening set 30-28.
The Tigers were neck and neck with the Yellow Jackets to start both the second and third sets. Solo blocks by Powell and an ace from Slavik gave the Tigers an early edge in set two, but Georgia Tech’s late scoring run and 12 total kills paved the way for GT to even the match. In the third, Clemson had kills from Kate Simington, Azyah Dailey, Katie Hurta and Wagner, who is Clemson’s leader in kills with 109 on the season, to stay in the set, but the Yellow Jackets sealed the win, to take a 2-1 advantage into the fourth.
Down the stretch in the fourth, Wagner provided two aces to tie up the set at 10-10, and Clemson continued to push as a kill from McGrath kept the set tied at 14-14. Despite the late push by the Tigers, Georgia Tech added five kills late in the match to stretch the final to 16-25, clinching the match victory.
Clemson returns to action on Friday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m., when the Tigers take on the NC State Wolfpack in Jervey Gym on ACCNX.