PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Clemson Volleyball program scored a minimum of 20 points in every set against the No. 7 Pittsburgh Panthers for the first time in program history, but ultimately fell in three sets (20-25, 21-25, 22-25) on Sunday afternoon inside Fitzgerald Field House. Following the loss, Clemson moved to 11-7 (2-4 ACC).
Clemson brought the fire from Friday night’s victory at Virginia into the opening set against the Panthers, as the Tigers hit .355 in the first frame behind five kills from Azyah Dailey and four from Kateryna Tkachenko. The Tigers had Pitt on edge keeping it level at 12-all. Pitt started to pull away, but an ace from Mckenna Slavik and Clemson hitting .355 kept the Tigers within one point until Pitt went on a 7-4 run to take set one, 25-20.
The Tigers continued to push the offensive tempo in the second set with a .324 hitting percentage with 14 kills. Clemson had numerous two-point leads following kills from Tkachenko and Slavik, as well as an ace from Mia McGrath, but the Panthers evened things at 20-20 before ultimately taking a two-set advantage with a 25-21 second set win.
Clemson continued to push back behind the power of Dailey and Adria Powell. The duo combined for a block followed by two kills from Powell to make it 5-5. Dailey tabbed a solo block two kills and combined for another kill with Powell as Clemson inched ahead with a 12-10 lead. The Panthers closed the gap and claimed the lead after timely kills down the stretch. Clemson attempted to claw back with kills from Tkachenko and Dailey, and blocks from Simington and Hurta, but it wasn’t enough as Pitt took set three, 25-22, and the match.
Dailey led the Tigers offensively with 10 kills, followed closely by Tkachenko (eight) and Hurta (seven). Slavik finished with 30 assists, which is enough to move her into third all-time on Clemson’s career assist list, surpassing Michelle Thieke (4,305 – 1994-97). Devan Taylor was the lone Tiger with double-digit digs, finishing with 11. Clemson added nine blocks as a team, led by Powell finishing with four, all assisted, and Dailey, Slavik and Simington all tallying three.
Clemson returns to Jervey Gym next weekend hosting Miami (Oct. 13 – 7 p.m.) and Florida State (Oct. 15 – 1 p.m.). Both matches will be broadcast on ACCNX.