CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson Volleyball team clocked 12 team blocks, the most by the Tigers this season, en route to sweeping Western Carolina in straight sets on Friday evening in Jervey Gym. The three-set win (28-26, 25-17, 25-21) improves the Tigers to 3-1 on the year, while the Catamounts fall to 0-4.
Clemson was led offensively by sophomore Mia McGrath, who finished with 12 kills. She also added two blocks for the Tigers. At the net, freshman Kate Simington finished with seven blocks (one solo, six assisted), to lead a group of eight to at least one block. Mckenna Slavik had an all-around match finishing with her second double-double of the season with 27 assists and 10 digs, while also contributing eight kills and four blocks. Devan Taylor was the lone other Tiger to clock double-digit digs with a season-high 19.
The Tigers put together a gutsy performance in the opening set making a comeback after trailing 15-11 at the first TV timeout. Behind blocks assists from Simington and Kennedy Wagner, and another from Adria Powell and Slavik, the Tigers put together a run. McGrath helped on the offensive front tabbing back-to-back kills, and an ace from Powell leveled the set at 19-all. Slavik and Powell made the final few pushes for Clemson, before Kennedy Wagner closed out the 28-26 set with an ace.
The second set was all Clemson as the Tigers strung together multiple scoring runs. With kills coming from four different players, including six from McGrath and two from Slavik and Katie Hurta, respectively, and six players contributing a block, Clemson maintained control of the second set. Western Carolina made a push towards the end of the set, but it wasn’t enough as Clemson took set two, 25-17.
Set three was a closer matchup as both teams traded points as neither could get their offense in a rhythm. Clemson was able to take the edge with a four-point run spurred by a kill from Azyah Dailey and a service ace from Becca Micelle. Western Carolina made a push to tie things, but a block assist from Simington and Slavik followed by an ace from Taylor put the Tigers at match point. Western Carolina followed with an attack error to give Clemson the 25-21 set win, and ultimately the match victory.
The Tigers continue action at the Clemson Invitational tomorrow evening facing off against South Alabama at 6 p.m. in Jervey Gym and on ACCNX.