Oct. 26, 2007
CLEMSON, SC – Jeannette Abbott and Kelsey Murphy reached career milestones on Friday night, while five Tigers hit double figures in kills and the Clemson volleyball team defeated North Carolina, 3-1 (30-23, 30-24, 26-30, 30-21), at Jervey Gym. The Tigers recorded 87 defensive saves against the Tar Heels in their designated Dig For The Cure match to benefit the Susan G. Koman Breast Cancer Foundation.
Abbott became just the 12th different player in Clemson history and the first since 2005 to join the 20-20 club as she tallied 22 kills and 20 digs in the contest. The 20 digs tied a personal-best for the junior from Downers Grove, IL.
Meanwhile, Murphy notched her 2,000th career assist in the fourth game and finished with a season-high 64 to total 2,014 in just her sophomore season. With her 12 digs against the Tar Heels, Murphy also went over the 500 mark for her career.
The Tigers (19-2, 12-0 ACC) tied the program’s longest single-season ACC winning streak with the victory and are now at 12 straight. They also posted season highs in kills and assists with 78 and 74, respectively, in front of an energetic crowd of 1,800. Abbott’s 22 kills led the squad, while senior Leslie Mansfield and junior Danielle each recorded a double-double as well. Mansfield tallied 14 kills, 20 digs and five block assists, and Hepburn added 13 kills, a career-best 10 digs and five block assists. Lia Proctor and Meghan Steiner also hit double figures in kills.
Libero Didem Ege recorded 18 digs in the contest as well, while Sue Eckman, Proctor and Steiner had four, two and one, respectively.
Megan Owens led North Carolina (9-12, 5-7 ACC) with 20 kills, while Brianna Eskola tallied 23 digs in the effort.
Trailing 21-19, the Tigers rattled off 10 straight points with Hepburn serving to take a commanding lead in game one. The Tar Heels avoided two game points before committing an error that gave the first set to Clemson, 30-23. Abbott recorded four kills during the stretch while Steiner added three. The Tigers had led by a 19-16 margin before afive-point North Carolina run that included four straight kills by Owens put the visiting team up by two.
The Tar Heels then opened the second game on a 5-2 run, but the Tigers caught up at six apiece for the third of 11 tie scores in the frame. A three-point stretch gave Clemson a 16-14 lead that was held throughout the game. North Carolina drew within one several times, but the Tigers closed out the set on an ace by Abbott.
A late rally by the Tar Heels in the third game gave them a 25-21 advantage. Although Clemson avoided two game points, North Carolina sealed the victory to force game four.
The Tigers then controlled the fourth game from the onset, scoring the first three points and 11 of the first 15. The lead narrowed back to four on three occasions, but Clemson never waived and clinched the victory, its 15th straight, with back-to-back blocks.
The Tigers will look to set the single-season ACC winning streak record and tie the program’s overall longest run on Saturday night against NC State. Clemson and Wolfpack are scheduled for a 6:00 pm start at Jervey Gym.
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