Oct. 28, 2006
CLEMSON, SC – The Clemson volleyball team rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force a fifth game against 25th-ranked Duke on Saturday at Jervey Gym, but the Tigers were unable to stop the Blue Devils and fell, 3-2, in the match. Three Clemson players set career highs in the contest, led by Jeannette Abbott’s 29 kills.
The loss dropped the Tigers to 14-7 overall with a 9-4 ledger in ACC action, while the Blue Devils improved to 19-3 on the year and 11-1 in the conference.
Duke’s Carrie DeMange posted 32 kills in the contest to lead all hitters, while tallying an impressive .400 hitting percentage with 60 attempts.
Abbott’s 29 kills bettered her previous best by one, which came earlier this season against Miami. Junior Meghan Steiner also set a personal best with 21 kills in the match. She hit a .514 percentage with just two errors on the night. Freshman setter Kelsey Murphy posted her highest assist total to date with 61.
Danielle Hepburn continued her dominance at the net, posting 11 total blocks with three block solos against the Blue Devils. The figure raised her season average to 1.74 per game; her previous mark of 1.68 ranked eighth in the nation as of Tuesday, Oct. 23.
The Blue Devils prevailed in a tight first game, edging the Tigers by two points for the game victory. The teams traded leads until Duke had a four-point rally that gave them an 18-16 advantage. Clemson then knotted the score at 23 apiece on a block by Hepburn and Lia Proctor, but the Blue Devils closed out the game, 30-28, on a Rachael Moss kill.
Game two played out similar to the first game, with Duke leading 16-12 early. The Tigers then rallied for three straight points to narrow the gap to one. After the Blue Devils held a 27-21 advantage, Steiner recorded two straight kills and Lia Proctor added one to put Clemson within four. DeMange posted Duke’s 28th and 29th points, with a Tiger point in between. Hepburn had a kill to avoid game point but the Blue Devils went on to win, 30-26.
Trailing 2-0 in the match, Clemson scored seven of the first 10 points of the third game and then extended its lead to 11-6, forcing Duke to call a timeout. Then, the Blue Devils rallied to close the gap to two points and tied the game at 19-19 on a five-point run. The fifth point of that rally gave Duke a lead that they maintained until the Tigers went ahead at 27-26 on a kill by Hepburn. The Blue Devils notched their 27th point on a DeMange kill, but Abbott clinched the game for Clemson with a kill.
The Tigers then controlled much of the fourth game, putting together runs of four and five points early to take a 19-10 lead. However, Duke crept back into the game, cutting the deficit to three points at 27-24. Clemson then scored three of the final four points of the game for the 30-25 victory and force the deciding fifth game.
Duke then won the final game by a 15-9 margin to post its 19 win of the season.
The Tigers will play face Florida State on Friday night in Tallahassee, FL for the first of a five-game road stretch. Clemson will then face Miami on Sunday afternoon in Coral Gables, FL.
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