Oct. 14, 2006
Clemson, SC – Clemson ended a drought that dated to 1999 after the Tiger volleyball team defeated North Carolina 3-0 (30-27, 30-27, 37-35) Saturday evening at Jervey Gym. The Tigers had lost 15 consecutive matches to the Tar Heels. Clemson’s win was the seventh straight for Jolene Hoover’s squad, as the team improved to 12-4 (7-1 in the ACC). Clemson is also now 8-1 at home this season, and Saturday’s win was the first for the Tigers at home over UNC since the 1997 season. North Carolina fell to 4-14 (2-7 ACC) with the loss.
Danielle Hepburn led the Tigers on Saturday, posting a season-high 10 blocks in the match that saw Clemson record its ACC season-best 17.0 total blocks. She also had 14 kills and a .467 hitting percentage. She also did not commit an attack error for the second straight night. Also contributing to the Tiger cause was Jeannette Abbott with a double-double (14 kills, 16 digs). She had a season-best with those 16 defensive saves. Leslie Mansfield was also solid Saturday, contributing nine kills, 12 digs, and three blocks. Meghan Steiner had seven blocks in the match as well, one shy of her career-high.
Hepburn had an outstanding first game for the Tigers, as she hit eight of her 11 attack attempts for kills without an error. Her hitting percentage for the game was .727. The Tigers rallied from a 22-15 deficit to tie the game at 25-25 on a Tar Heel ball handling error. The Tigers were then down 27-25 before taking a lead at 28-27 on consecutive kills by Hepburn. Clemson won the first game by a score of 30-27.
In the second game, Clemson enjoyed a lead as large as 14-8 before the Tar Heels stormed back with four straight points. The Tigers built the lead up to 20-14 again on a Jeannette Abbott kill. However, North Carolina scored four straight points again to pull close. From there, back and forth action ensued until the Tigers took control at 29-26. Clemson also won game two by the 30-27 score.
The third game saw the Tar Heels battle from an 8-6 deficit early to winning five straight points to take control at 11-8. Clemson fought back to a 13-13 tie, but North Carolina won four of the next five points and forced the Tigers into a timeout down 18-14. Clemson then won the next six points to take a 20-18 lead. Mansfield had three kills during that stretch. The Tigers staved off two game points and had match point on five occasions before closing the deal on a Hepburn kill. Clemson won the thrilling final game by a score of 37-35.
The Tigers return to action on Tuesday, October 17 to play host to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. That match will start at 7:00 PM in Jervey Gym.
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