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Balanced Offense Propels Clemson Past Syracuse

Balanced Offense Propels Clemson Past Syracuse

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Clemson volleyball team won the final three sets in taking down the Syracuse Orange in four (23-25, 25-19, 25-20, 25-22) on Friday night at the Women’s Gym. The victory puts Clemson 17-9 on the season and 5-7 in the ACC, while Syracuse falls to 8-16 overall and 1-11 in conference play.

Freshman setter Kate Federico guided four teammates to double-figure kills, led by Karis Watson and Leah Perri, who had 12 apiece. Seniors Beta Dumancic and Kristin Faust added ten kills each as the Tigers held the Orange to .128 hitting in the match, largely on the back of 13 blocks.

Watson, the ACC’s leader in blocks per set, added nine more on Friday. Federico played one of her finest all-around matches, going for 42 assists, 11 digs, six kills and two aces. Senior Niki Collier led defensively with 20 digs, and added seven assists for good measure.

After dropping a tight first set, 25-23, the Tigers jumped out to a 13-4 lead in the second set and never looked back, on the way to the 25-19 set win.

In the third set, the Tigers scored the first five points, before the Orange stormed back and tied the match at 12-12. Haleigh Hampton accounted for Clemson’s next three points as the Tigers pushed the lead to four at 18-14. Watson put down a pair of kills to give Clemson the 23-18 edge, and after a kill from Perri, Watson and Hampton combined on a block to give the Tigers the 2-1 lead.

Watson and Hampton were at it again in the fourth set, combining on two blocks in the first three points to give the Tigers the early advantage. Watson dictated play, tallying four kills and four blocks in the set, as Clemson never trailed in finishing off the Orange in four.

The Tigers will close out the weekend road trip, travelling to Power Gym to take on Boston College (9-13, 4-7 ACC) on Sunday at 12 p.m in Chestnut Hill, Mass.