WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Junior libero Devan Taylor and graduate Mckenna Slavik finished with 15 digs each to lead the Tiger defense, but the Clemson Volleyball program fell to Wake Forest (11-3, 2-1 ACC) on Friday evening. The Tigers battled, but dropped the three-set match (24-26, 21-25, 16-25) to move to 9-6 (0-3 ACC) on the season.
The Clemson offense was paced by Katie Hurta who clocked eight kills and two block assists. Kennedy Wagner followed with seven kills, while Slavik posted six in addition to finishing with her sixth double-double (15 digs, 21 assists) of the year. Junior Azyah Dailey led the Tigers at the net with four blocks, all assisted, while middles Adria Powell and Kate Simington both contributed three.
The Tigers applied the pressure in the opening frame after Wake Forest jumped out to an early lead. Behind a 9-1 scoring run that saw Hurta rack up three kills and the Tigers tally three blocks from Simington, Dailey and Hurta, Clemson claimed the lead midway through the set. It was neck-and-neck for through the remainder of the set as Wagner added multiple kills, but the Demon Deacons took the set, 26-24.
Wake Forest appeared to carry its momentum into the second set on the defensive side. Clemson saw major attacks from Wagner, Hurta and Powell down the stretch, and additional kills came from Slavik as she caught the Demon Deacons’ defense off balance. Making a comeback push, Clemson went on a 7-2 run to bring the Tigers within two, but Wake Forest closed out the set by hitting .342 to take a 2-0 advantage. Neither side let up in the third, battling back-and-forth as the first 17 points were exchanged. Clemson was spurred offensively by Dailey and Hurta, but the Demon Deacons were able to hit .282 with 14 kills in the frame to capture the final set, 25-16.
Friday’s match marked the Demon Deacons’ “Dig Pink” night honoring former Wake Forest Head Coach and Clemson alum, Heather Kahl Holmes, battle with breast cancer.
The Tigers return home for a Sunday, Oct. 1 afternoon matchup against Virginia Tech. Clemson will take on the Hokies at 1 p.m. in Jervey Gym and on ACCNX.