LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Clemson volleyball team (9-6, 0-3 ACC) put pressure on the No. 2 ranked Cardinals on Friday night but fell short as Louisville (12-1, 3-0 ACC) took the match, 3-0, in L&N Federal Credit Union Arena.
The Tigers lost by a combined 14 points in the match (22-25, 19-25, 20-25), to mark the smallest margin of defeat by the Cardinals in three sets during the modern scoring era since 2014 (29-31, 22-25, 22-25).
The Tigers came ready for battle hitting .293 while forcing 10 lead changes in the first set. Cate Long, Ani Clark, Colleen Finney and Camryn Hannah added momentum for the Tigers picking up kills. Freshman Becca Micelle picked up the lone ace for both sides in the first, and Mckenna Slavik tallied a kill to give Clemson the lead at the media timeout, 15-13. Down the stretch, Hannah picked up three-straight kills, and Jacyn Bamis added one to even things at 21-all, but the Cardinals went the distance to take the set, 25-22.
The Tigers looked to bounce back in the second after Long tallied an early solo block, but Louisville was able to string together a strong scoring run to force the Tigers to take a timeout. Clemson was able to cut the Cardinals’ lead down to two with kills from Hannah and Clark, but Louisville went on another long run that the Tigers weren’t able to shut down. Bamis fought for the Tigers at the net with a solo block of her own, but Louisville took set two, 25-19.
The third set was much like the first as both sides traded points through the first half of the set that included Long and Clark combining for a block, while Hannah and Finney clocked kills. Louisville held a slight edge over the Tigers at the media timeout mark despite Clark firing a kill into the Cardinals’ backcourt. Hannah picked up her team-leading 12th kill of the match, while Finney and freshman Mia McGrath added ones of their own down the stretch, but it wasn’t enough as Louisville took the final set, 25-20.
The Tigers continue road action traveling to Notre Dame, Ind. to face the Fighting Irish on Sunday, Oct. 2, at 1 p.m. on ACCNX.
Photos courtesy of Jared Sweat, Clemson Athletics