BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Behind a strong offensive presence from juniors Camryn Hannah and Cate Long, the Clemson volleyball team (8-3) defeated Samford (4-7) in four sets on Friday evening at the Pete Hanna Center. The Tigers took the first, second and fourth sets in the 3-1 victory in the opening match of the Samford Invitational.
The Tigers started strong with Hannah tallying seven kills in the opening set. Clemson continued to capitalize on errors by the Bulldogs on both serves and attacking errors. Finding the weak spots, that included having Devan Taylor pick up two aces and Long one, allowed the Tigers to go on multiple scoring runs to open the set up to a wide enough margin to secure a 25-18 win.
Samford flipped the switch on the Tigers in set two to take an early advantage. Clemson battled back, credited to Hannah and junior Colleen Finney tallying crucial kills. Taylor and freshman Becca Micelle were also able to find some weak spots in Samford’s receivers as both tallied an ace in Clemson’s 27-25 set win.
The Tigers went on an early 5-1 run in the third with senior Ani Clark at the service line, as she picked up an ace. Clemson maintained a two-point lead until Samford tied things up at 15-all. Both teams traded points for the remainder of the set until the Bulldogs finished with a five-point run to take the set, 25-23.
The fourth set was similar to the end of the third with both teams trading points and neither getting more than a two-point lead until Clark and Hannah tallied three-straight kills for the Tigers to make it 16-12. Senior Mckenna Slavik pushed the Tigers ahead further with two aces – the team finished with 10 on the night.
Long finished the match with her first double-double (12 kills, 10 digs) of the season and three aces. Three Tigers hit above .300 including: Long (.364), Hannah (.324) and Clark (.353).
Clemson continues its stretch in Birmingham tomorrow afternoon, taking on Murray State at 3 p.m. ET to conclude the Samford Invitational.