Jessi Betcher Named MVP Of Clemson Invitational Volleyball Tournament And Sets Tigers’ All-Time Assists Record

Jessi Betcher Named MVP Of Clemson Invitational Volleyball Tournament And Sets Tigers’ All-Time Assists Record

Sept. 21, 2002

Box Score

CLEMSON, S.C. – It was a day of highlights for the Clemson volleyball team as senior setter Jessi Betcher led the Tigers to two wins on Saturday at the Clemson Invitational en route to setting the Clemson all-time assists record. Betcher broke the previous record in the Tigers’ first match of the day with her season-high 64 assist performance, then added 50 assists in the final match of the day to give her 4,362 career assists. She has 606 assists so far this season, and is also the Tigers’ all-time assists per game leader with an 11.82 average. The previous record was 4,305 assists set by Michelle Thieke Young from 1994-1997. With the two victories today, Clemson improves to 8-6 on the season and pushes its home win streak to 10 dating back to last year. This season, the Tigers have won eight consecutive matches at Jervey Gym.

Clemson opened the second day of the tournament with a 3-1 win over Coastal Carolina. Virginia Tech defeated Texas Christian University 3-1 in the second match of the morning session, then Coastal Carolina defeated Virginia Tech 3-2 in the evening session. The Tigers swept Texas Christian University in the tournament’s finale. Clemson completed the tournament with a 3-0 record, while Coastal Carolina was 2-1. Virginia Tech was 1-2 and Texas Christian University was 0-3. Clemson’s Jessi Betcher was named tournament MVP joining teammates Lori Ashton and Leslie Finn on the all-tournament team. Virginia Tech’s Melissa Markowski, TCU’s Dominika Szabo and Coastal Carolina’s Jeanne Lambert and Katie Knutson also earned all-tournament accolades.

Clemson head coach Jolene Jordan Hoover said, “Jessi Betcher did an awesome job running the offense the entire weekend. Our middle hitters had a high hitting percentage and Leslie Finn did a great job on the outside. As a team, I think we improved a lot defensively this weekend, which is really important for us.”

In the first match of the day, Clemson defeated Coastal Carolina 3-1. The Tigers outhit the Lady Chanticleers .324 to .226, and Clemson posted seven team blocks to Coastal Carolina’s four team blocks. Clemson served up eight aces while the Lady Chanticleers had seven service aces. Leslie Finn led all hitters with 21 kills and 12 digs, while Lori Ashton added 20 kills with a .500 hitting percentage and four blocks (one solo). Jessi Betcher handed out 64 assits with 13 digs and six kills, while Ryane Beasley tallied 13 kills with three blocks. Stephanie Haskell recorded a team-best 15 digs and Carly Hill served up a match-best five service aces. Coastal Carolina was led by Jeanne Lambert who posted 18 kills with 23 digs and a team-high .311 hitting percentage. Katie Knutson added 17 kills with 13 digs, and Sarah Bennett had 11 kills. Knutson also had a team-best three aces, and Lauren Wozniak tallied three blocks (one solo).

Coastal Carolina won game one 30-24, hitting .375 to Clemson’s .250 hitting percentage. The Lady Chanticleers held an advantage throughout the first game, and had as much as a seven point lead at 13-20. Clemson closed the gap to three points at 19-22, but Coastal Carolina tallied six kills in the remaining 13 points to take a one game lead. Lambert led the Lady Chanticleers with seven kills and a .583 hitting percentage, while Bennett, Knutson and Wozniak tallied three kills each. Hampton handed out 17 assists, and Lambert added five digs. For Clemson, Beasley and Ashton recorded five kills each, and Betcher had 15 assists with four digs.

The Tigers rallied in game two, defeating the Lady Chanticleers 30-22. Clemson was in control of the game early, building the lead to six at 10-4. The Tigers continued to hold the edge although Coastal Carolina closed to within three points at 23-20. The Tigers won seven of the nine final points of the game to knot the match at one game each. Finn and Ashton led the Tigers with six kills each, and Betcher handed out 19 assists with five digs. Carly Hill had a game-best six digs for the Tigers. Knutson was the Lady Chanticleers’ leader with six kills, while Lambert had nine digs. Hampton dished out 13 assists.

In the third game, Clemson rallied from a 24-28 deficit to claim a two-game lead, 31-29. Coastal Carolina went out to a 10-5 lead, then Clemson closed to within two points at 14-16 off a kill by Marija Zoric. The Lady Chanticleers once again built their lead to seven at 22-5 before the Tigers came to within four at 24-28. Clemson used three kills by Lori Ashton and two service aces by Hill in the final seven points of the game to take the lead in the match. Ashton and Finn tallied four kills each, and Betcher had 14 assists. Haskell recorded nine defensive saves and three Tigers had two blocks each. Coastal Carolina’s Knutson had seven kills and Lambert added five kills with seven digs. Hampton handed out 12 assists with five digs.

Despite a close score early in the fourth game, the Tigers dominated the Lady Chanticleers in the final game, winning 30-21. Clemson built its lead to eight at 20-12 and never allowed Coastal Carolina to close the gap to less than seven points for the remainder of the game. Finn tallied seven kills while Ashton had five kills. Betcher recorded 16 assists, and four Tigers had two digs. Lambert led the Lady Chanticleers with four kills, and Hampton handed out nine assists.

In the second game of the morning session, Virginia Tech defeated Texas Christian University 3-1. TCU won the first game 30-27, but the Hokies rallied to win the next three games 30-26, 30-22 and 30-22. Virginia Tech outhit the Horned Frogs .302 to .191.

Ana Lang led the Hokies with 21 kills 19 digs, while Sarah Rogers tallied 11 kills, a .579 hitting percentage and four blocks (one solo). Emily Smith added 12 kills with 14 digs, and Cheryl Stinson had 11 kills with three blocks (one solo). Melissa Marlowski handed out 56 assists with 14 digs and three blocks (one solo). Ashley Bayer recorded 17 defensive saves in the win.

TCU’s Dominika Szabo led all hitters with 25 kills, and Stephanie Watson added 11 kills with 13 digs and a team-high five blocks. Tori Barlow handed out 47 assists with 11 digs, while Courtney Beach served up four aces with nine digs and seven kills.

The evening session began with a five-game thriller that saw Coastal Carolina edge Virginia Tech, 3-2. The Lady Chanticleers won the first two games 30-19 and 30-26 before the Hokies rallied to win games three and four, 30-23 and 30-27. Coastal Carolina won the decisive game 15-12 to improve their overall record to 7-5. Virginia Tech is 7-7 on the season.

Ana Lang led the Hokies with 26 kills and 20 digs with three blocks, while Jenny Hill added 14 kills and five blocks. Cheryl Stinson had 13 kills with a team-high eight blocks and four service aces. Annie Spicer had 11 kills and nine digs, while Melissa Markowski handed out 62 assists and 17 digs.

Four Coastal Carolina players tallied double-doubles in the win. Sarah Bennett and Katie Knutson had 15 kills each with 17 and 13 digs, respectively. Jeanne Lambert turned in 11 kills with 22 digs, and Jennifer Hampton had 10 kills with 11 digs and 48 assists for a triple-double effort. Wozniak had a team-best five blocks.

In the tournament finale, Clemson defeated Texas Christian University 3-0 en route to the tournament title. Clemson won the match 30-21, 30-23 and 30-26 behind a .397 team hitting percentage. Clemson’s Lori Ashton led all hitters with 18 kills and a .483 hitting percentage with five blocks (two solo). Leslie Finn added 13 kills with 11 digs and three blocks (one solo) while Ryane Beasley tallied 12 kills and Marija Zorika posted nine kills with three blocks. Jessi Betcher handed out 50 assists with six kills and nine digs.

Texas Christian University was led by Dominika Szabo who tallied 15 kills with seven digs and a .333 hitting percentage. Courtney Beach recorded a double-double with 10 kills and 13 digs, and Tori Barlow handed out 36 assists.

Clemson returns to the court on Tuesday as the Tigers travel to Greenville, SC, to face Furman in a 7:00 PM match.