Kennesaw, Ga. – Despite a comeback effort that brought the fourth set to 24-24, the Clemson Volleyball team was edged by Santa Clara (3-4, 0-0 WCC), 16-25, 25-20, 19-25, 24-25, Saturday evening in KSU Convocation Center. Kaylee Martin (13 kills), Ava Pritchard (8 blocks) and Mckenna Slavik (27 assists, 17 digs, and 3 blocks) led the Clemson effort. With this loss, Clemson slips to 4-3 for the season.
The Broncos took the first set behind four service aces, two by Julia Sangiacomo. Santa Clara’s Michelle Shaffer tallied 4 of her match-high 17 kills in the opening frame. After a kill by Martin to bring the score to 16-18, the Broncos went on a 7-point streak including four kills and two service aces to capture the first set.
Clemson started the second set with vengeance, going 7-1 including two aces by Slavik. In the middle of the set, Santa Clara had four errors in an arrow and requested a timeout where they returned on a 5-point streak to halt the Tigers momentum. The Tigers responded with a small run themselves where they found themselves at match point 24-16. Santa Clara’s Sophia Tulino recorded three kills and a ball-handling error to extend the set point to four serves before a Pritchard kill secured the second set victory.
Coming out of the locker room, the Broncos came out strong, but a back-and-forth performance of errors from both teams slowed down the set. The Tigers fought back to get it to 18-21, but two attack errors and two kills put the Broncos on top.
In the fourth set, Clemson and the Broncos were once again neck-and neck throughout the set. Both teams were 23-23 before Santa Clara went on a 3-1 run with two set point opportunities and recorded two kills by Tulino to win the set and the match.
Clemson (4-3) returns to Jervey Gym Wednesday, Sept. 22 as the Tigers host Georgia State (3-6) at 8 p.m. Wednesday’s matchup against the Panthers is set to broadcast on ACCN.