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No. 14 Tigers Return Home

Oct. 25, 1999

This Week’s Matchups

Clemson (21-1, 9-1 ACC) will return home to Jervey Gym this week after playing five matches on the road over the past two weeks.

The Tigers will face Virginia on Friday. Clemson holds a 22-6 series advantage after defeating the Cavaliers 3-0 in Charlottesville earlier this season. The two teams split last seasons’ matches, with Virginia taking a 3-0 win in Charlottesville before the Tigers defeated the Cavaliers 3-2 in Clemson.

Maryland will visit Jervey Gym on Saturday night. Clemson won 3-0 in College Park earlier this season to take a 19-18 series advantage. The Tigers won both meetings between the two teams last year 3-0.

Clemson Ranked Among Nation’s Leaders

The Clemson volleyball team is ranked 14th nationally according to the latest AVCA Division I Coaches Preseason Poll, moving up from a 15th-place ranking last week. The team received 660 votes in the national poll.

At the Michigan State Volleyball Classic, the Tigers defeated Texas A&M, ranked 16th in the preseason, and Michigan State, ranked 22nd in the preseason. In the Big Orange Bash the Tigers defeated then 30th-ranked Notre Dame, and on September 26 Clemson beat then 21st-ranked Arkansas. Last weekend the Tigers beat 25th-ranked North Carolina. Tigers defeat Tar Heels, 3-2

In a match that lived up to its billing, the No. 14 Clemson Tigers edged by No. 25 North Carolina 3-2 (8-15, 16-14, 12-15, 15-13, 16-14) Friday at Carmichael Auditorium. The loss snapped the Tar Heel’s school-record winning streak of 15 matches and was their first ACC defeat.

Clemson was led by Alison Coday, who registered a 30-30, with 32 kills and 30 digs. The Tigers’ defense came up big with eight players in double-figures in digs. Cindy Stern followed Coday in kills with 26 and the Tigers were able to out-hit the Tar Heels .227 to .215.

In game one, Clemson jumped out to a 10-4 lead and held control of the game for a 15-8 win. Game two was battle back and forth between the two teams. The Tar Heels came out with a 9-5 lead, however, the Tigers answered to tie the game at nine. Carolina reestablished its lead at 13-10, only to see Clemson rebound again to tie the game at 14. UNC then secured the final two point and the game at 16-14.

Game three was also tight, as Clemson opened with a 7-4 lead, only to have it vanish for the second-straight game to be tied a nine. The Tigers then regained control with a 4-0 run and finished the game off at 15-12. However, during game three, with Tigers leading 10-9, Clemson lost Jessi Betcher and Skye Frost when their heads collided while attempting a dig. Neither returned to the match, but both returned to the bench.

The Tar Heels took an 11-7 lead in game four before Clemson would tie it at 11. Carolina persevered and ended the game 15-13 to force the deciding game five.

After establishing a 9-5 lead, Clemson maintained its lead until the score was 13-9. The Tar Heels tied the match-deciding game at 14. However, Clemson would not be denied, taking the final two points of the game and the match.

Tigers defeat Wolfpack, 3-0

Clemson defeated NC State 3-0 (14-16, 4-15, 11-15) at Reynolds Coliseum on Saturday evening. Much like their battle in Jervey Gym on October 5, NC State and Clemson started out the match with an exciting first game. NC State held the advantage most of the way, but Clemson took its first lead of the game at 12-13 and eventually won 16-14.

The Tigers went on the offensive following their game one victory and took the second game, with ease, 15-4 winning nine of the final ten points. The third game saw the Wolfpack take an early 7-5 lead but Clemson eventually took the game, and consequently the match, 15-11.

Jodi Steffes had a tremendous match for the Tigers as she tallied 22 kills and 13 digs, both team highs. Steffes was aided by setter Melissa Kudelka (50 assists) and outside hitter Cindy Stern (13 kills).

Betcher, Frost Injured versus North Carolina

Freshman setter Jessi Betcher and senior outside hitter Skye Frost collided attempting a dig in game three versus North Carolina on Friday. Both players spent the rest of the match on the bench, and neither played against NC State on Saturday. The two players are expected to return to action this weekend when Clemson plays host to Virginia and Maryland.

Tigers Among Nation’s Statistical Leaders

Freshman setter Jessi Betcher led the nation through the matches of Oct. 17, with 14.57 assists per game. Senior middle blocker Cindy Stern ranked 12th nationally with a .400 attack percentage. As a team, Clemson ranks fourth in assists (15.97 per game), 10th in kills (17.35 per game), 13th with a .289 hitting percentage and 14th in digs (18.57 per game).

Three Tournament Trophies

Clemson has won all three tournaments the team has competed in this season. The Tigers defeated then #16 Texas A&M, preseason #22 Michigan State, Cleveland State and Eastern Kentucky at the Michigan State Volleyball Classic to open the season.

Clemson won the Big Orange Bash by defeating Kentucky and #30 Notre Dame, then beat Illinois State and Furman to win the Clemson Invitational.

Tigers Set Record With 16-Match Winning Streak

Clemson’s 3-0 victory over Florida State last week set a Tiger volleyball record, giving the team 16-straight wins. The previous record of 15 consecutive matches won was set in 1992 when the Tigers opened the season 15-0.

Longest Clemson Volleyball Streaksof Consecutive Matches Won

16   First 16 matches of 1999 season15   First 15 matches of 1992 season14   First 14 matches of 1994 season     First 14 matches of 1997 season

By the Numbers

So far this season the Tigers are outhitting their opponents .282 to .157. Clemson has 127 service aces in the 22 matches, while Tiger opponents have just 70 aces in the span. Clemson has 58 block solos, compared to 41 from Tiger opponents, and the Tigers have 175.5 total team blocks versus 154.5 total team blocks by opposing teams.

Tigers Open Season With 27-Game Winning Streak

Clemson won its first nine matches in three games this season. The 27-game winning streak is the third-longest in Tiger volleyball history.

Longest Clemson Volleyball Streaksof Consecutive Games Won

39   September 5, 1992 to Sept. 25, 199230   First 10 matches of 1994 season27   First 9 matches of 1999 season

Tigers Seeking Records

Several Tigers are among Clemson’s career leaders in many categories. Senior Cindy Stern ranks second in block assists (419), just 13 block assists shy of the record set last year by Stephanie Schulz. She ranks third in kills (1563), fourth in block solos (144) and fourth in attempts (3571).

Senior Alison Coday ranks fourth in kills (1500) and third in attempts (3716), while junior Missy Kudelka is in fifth place on the Clemson all-time list with 1637 assists. Freshman setter Jessi Betcher ranks 10th with 913 assists.

Hoover Holds Clemson Coaching Record

Head Coach Jolene Jordan Hoover, now in her seventh season as the Tigers’ head coach, became Clemson’s all-time winningest volleyball coach last season. She holds a 164-61 record at Clemson and is 257-92 for her career.

Hoover has a stellar 76-36 record in ACC matches for a .679 winning percentage, best among active league head coaches.

Hoover was inducted into the Illinois State Hall of Fame this fall. Hoover, the 1997 ACC Coach of the Year, was a three-time All-Gateway Conference performer during her playing days at Illinois State and the league’s player of the year in 1985. The Redbirds won Gateway titles and made NCAA appearances in all four of her seasons.

Over her final three seasons, ISU was 101-30 and was ranked as high as No. 9 nationally. Hoover still ranks among Illinois State’s all-time statistical leaders in nine different categories, including block assists, block solos, total blocks, service aces and assists.

Fabulous Freshmen

Clemson’s two freshmen are making quite an impact in their rookie season. Setter Jessi Betcher of Boulder, CO, is averaging 14.49 assists per game. She has 26 service aces in 63 games, for a 0.41 average per game. Betcher has been named to the all-tournament team of all three tournaments the team has competed in this season.

Middle hitter Mallory Benson of Angola, IN, is second on the team with a .343 attack percentage (98 kills, 25 errors, 213 attempts). Benson has 10 block solos and 38 block assists for 48 total blocks, second on the Clemson team.

There’s No Place Like Home

The Tigers have a 9-1 record in Jervey Gym this season. So far, 8,465 fans have come out to watch the team at home, an average of 847 fans per match. Earlier this season versus South Carolina, Clemson’s fans set a new Jervey Gym attendance record of 1,367.

Clemson recorded a 12-2 record in Jervey Gym last season and ranked 26th nationally in home attendance. Under head coach Jolene Jordan Hoover, the Tigers are 81-20 (.802) in Jervey Gym.

Admission is free to all Clemson home volleyball matches.