Aug. 26, 2011
CLEMSON, SC — When a team is playing mostly with sophomores and freshmen, growing pains are going to happen.
However, that wasn’t the case for the Clemson volleyball team Friday at Jervey Gymnasium. Instead, it was a group of upperclassmen that made a mistake. Early in the first set in the Tigers’ 3-0 (25-19, 25-13 and 25-21) victory over Loyola University Maryland, middle hitters Sandra Adeleye and Alexa Rand substituted for each other, instead of for setters Hannah Brenner and Kamryn Sherman.
“It was kind of funny because you would think it would be a freshman or younger player that would make that mistake, but instead it was mostly upperclassmen,” Adeleye said. “It just has to do with being focused a little more so it will not happen again.”
What that meant was Clemson had a 5-foot-10 setter on the front row instead of a 6-foot-3 Rand, or 6-foot Adeleye.
“It was like hoooo,” Clemson Head Coach Jolene Hoover said.
Because of that error, the Tigers (1-0) were stuck with that substitution set for the entire set. Clemson got around it by sliding right side hitter Mo Simmons over on one side and middle hitter Karis Watson over to the other side.
“They worked through it, which was really good,” Hoover said. “But once (a substitution) is established, you really can’t change it. So we were stuck.
“So Alexa and Sandra went in for each other and Hannah and Kamryn went in for each other which is supposed to be opposite.”
Clemson recovered enough to win the first set, 25-19.
“We had a little confusion there,” Adeleye said. “I’m really proud, though, that we were able to work through it. Luckily, Mo and Karis can practically play anywhere so it was easy. It actually looked like nothing ever happened.”
The Tigers eventually made things smooth, especially Adeleye, who started the season with a .882 attack percentage, tied for the third-best night in school history. She recorded 15 kills in 17 attempts.
“I was pleased with my performance,” the junior said. “I was able to get some pretty good looks and that is thanks to Hannah. I thought she put up some pretty good sets.”
Brenner finished the night with 21 assists.
“Sandra looked really good. She and Hannah Brenner connected really well,” Hoover said. “That has been a good combination and Sandra looked awesome.”
The only other hiccup besides the first-set snafu was letting Loyola gain some confidence in the third set. The Greyhounds kept the set tied for most of it, including at 21-21. But, the Tigers got a kill from Adeleye and then put the set away from there to close out the match.
“I think this is something that we definitely have to work on,” Adeleye said. “We won the first two sets and I think we kind of relaxed a little bit, when we should have kept pushing. You have that break in the middle and you kind of lose focus a little, but I think we gained it back towards the end.”
Just like they did in the first set.
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