Nov. 22, 2006
CLEMSON, SC – Clemson sophomore Danielle Hepburn totaled 18 kills and 10 blocks, including a personal-best five solos, in leading the Tigers to a 3-2 (30-16, 30-19, 28-30, 23-30, 15-11) victory over Virginia Tech on Wednesday night. The Tigers went up 2-0 in the match and then prevailed in the decisive fifth game.
With the win, Clemson improved to 19-10 overall and 14-7 in the ACC, while the Hokies’ record fell to 16-14 with a 10-11 ledger against conference competition.
In addition to Hepburn, Leslie Mansfield, Meghan Steiner and Jeannette Abbott posted double-digit kills with 15, 12 and 11, respectively.
Taylor Parrish led the Hokie offense with 16 kills, while Katie Esbrook recorded 13 with a .333 hitting percentage.
Clemson started strong in the first game, winning by a 30-16 margin. The Tigers scored eight of the first 11 points and then took a 23-9 lead on the service of Meghan Steiner tallied three kills during the eight-point run. The Hokies capitalized on two Clemson errors for their 10th and 11th points and then recorded kills to cut the deficit to 24-13. The Tigers responded with five of the next six points, but Virginia Tech avoided two game points before Clemson clinched the game on a kill by Hepburn.
The two teams then traded points early in the second frame until the Tigers went up by five after two Hepburn kills. Clemson allowed the Hokies to put together multiple point-runs just three times in the game while recording three late in the frame that put the Tigers ahead by seven at 20-13. A three-point rally that included kills by Leslie Mansfield and a solo block by Hepburn gave Clemson a 27-18 advantage. The Tigers then claimed the game, 30-19, after another Mansfield kill, a block by Hepburn and Murphy and a Virginia Tech error.
The Hokies forced a fourth game, narrowly winning the third game, 30-28. Clemson held the early lead at 10-6, but Virginia Tech crept back to within one point at 13-12. The Tigers remained ahead until a five-point Hokie rally gave them a 23-20 advantage. Steiner posted the next point for Clemson with a kill, but Virginia Tech responded with a three-point run to put them ahead 26-21. The Tigers tied the score at 28 apiece but could not hold the Hokies as they won the game, 30-28.
Virginia Tech pushed the match to five games with a 30-23 victory in the fourth frame. After leading 7-6 early in the game, the Hokies went on a 7-1 run that put them ahead 14-7. Clemson rallied to come within four at 16-12, but Virginia Tech utilized another four-point run to further distance itself. The Tigers narrowed the gap to four again at 22-18, but the Hokies maintained the advantage to even the match at 2-2.
Clemson then controlled the fifth game, jumping out to an early 9-1 lead. Virginia Tech came within four at 11-7 after a three-point rally, but the Tigers held on for their 19th victory of the season.
Clemson will conclude the 2006 regular season on Friday night against the Virginia Cavaliers. The match is scheduled for a 6:00 pm start time at Jervey Gym.
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