PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Clemson (5-9) fell to Pittsburgh (11-3), 3-0 (19-25, 17-25, 9-25) in its second ACC match of the season. Leah Perri led the offense once again while Kennedy Wilson-Talmadge finished with double-digit digs in her return at libero.
“First of all, hats off to Pitt. They were able to run out a variety of lineups with some talented players and not skip a beat,” said head coach Hugh Hernesman. “Their efficiency was impressive. As far as we’re concerned, I liked the way we competed in the first two sets.”
“I thought we did a good job of challenging them and making them earn points. There is room for improvement, obviously, but we were in a position to make plays. That rate just needs to go up. Especially against a talented and balanced attack. But we saw our passing improve from Friday’s match, so that’s encouraging. We’ll keep trying to find solutions and get back at it on Tuesday.”
Pittsburgh established a lead early in the first and managed to keep the Tigers at bay once Clemson pulled within four at 18-14. The Panthers won three of the next four points to seal a victory in the first and take a 1-0 lead with a 25-19 score.
The Tigers were able to gain some momentum early in the second, however, once again Pittsburgh was able to regain control of the set. Tied at 12, the Panthers won six of the next seven points to create the momentum they needed to go on and win the second, 25-17.
Perri threw down 10 kills, aced the Panthers once and tallied three blocks while Annie Carter finished with five kills in the match. Keely Hayes spread the ball around to tally 21 assists while killing two balls on her own. Kailey Harvell and Megan McGinley each finished with three kills while Jaden Light match Hayes with a pair of kills. Light and McGinley each finished with two blocks. Kennedy Wilson-Talmadge finished the match with 12 digs in her first start at libero since the South Carolina match back on September 4.
Next week, Clemson hosts NC State in its ACC home opener on Friday, September 30 at 7:00 p.m., in Jervey Gym. Following the match Friday, the Tigers will host North Carolina at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
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