CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson volleyball team stormed ahead in a thrilling five-set victory against the Miami Hurricanes on Friday evening inside Jervey Gym. The 3-2 win (15-25, 25-18, 21-25, 25-19, 15-10) marks Clemson’s first win against the Hurricanes since 2020 and moves the Tigers to 12-7 (3-4 ACC) on the year.
Sophomore Mia McGrath shined for the Tigers tallying a team-high 17 points behind 13 kills and four aces. Redshirt freshman Katie Hurta and graduate Adria Powell added 11 points each. Junior Azyah Dailey led the program with five blocks, all assisted, and junior Devan Taylor finished with 16 digs. Mckenna Slavik shined contributing her eighth double-double of the 2023 season behind 41 assists and 17 digs, both team-highs on the evening. Needing only six digs when entering the match, Slavik has surpassed 1,000-career digs to become the second Tiger this season to reach the milestone, to join her already impressive career stats of 4,000+ career assists.
Clemson jumped out to an early lead in the first set after Hurta tallied two early kills and Kennedy Wagner added her 24th ace of the season. The Hurricanes closed down the Tigers’ advantage to level things at 8-all, and used a .344 hitting percentage to push ahead. Five Clemson players tallied a kill in the opening frame, and Slavik finished with six assists and five digs, but the Tigers dropped the first set, 25-15.
The Tigers responded in the second by taking another early 8-5 lead off kills from Dailey, Kate Simington and Hurta. Miami pulled back within one, but Dailey recorded back-to-back kills to carry Clemson into the media timeout with a four-point edge. Coming out of the timeout, Clemson went on a 10-7 scoring run powered by a combined block from Dailey and Powell and kills from McGrath that led to Clemson winning set two, 25-18.
Clemson attempted to push ahead in the opening of the third set following a block by Dailey and Simington, but Miami scored seven-consecutive points to gain the upper hand. The Tigers closed the gap down to two points off kills from Powell, McGrath, Simington and Hurta. McGrath served an ace, and Wagner added her third ace of the match, but Miami took the 2-1 lead after taking the set, 25-21.
Miami opened the fourth set on a 6-3 run that forced the Tigers to take an early timeout. Following the timeout, Clemson evened the score at 7-all, and after kills from Hurta, Dailey and Slavik and Wagner serving her fourth ace of the match – 27th of the season – as Clemson held a 14-13 lead. The Tigers forced a fifth set after going on an 11-6 spurred by kills from Slavik and Dailey. A combined block from Simington and Dailey had Clemson taking the set, 25-19.
Clemson stayed hot out of the gate in the fifth, as McGrath and Powell added kills. Slavik and Powell had the two teams trading sides after combining for a block with Clemson leading 8-4. Miami closed the lead down to one, but McGrath tallied back-to-back aces to give Clemson the 11-7 edge. Clemson ended the match on a 4-0 run to secure the set, 15-10, for the first victory against Miami since 2020.
The Tigers return to action on Sunday, Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. when Clemson hosts Florida State in Jervey Gym and on ACCNX.