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Tigers Clinch ACC Title And NCAA Tournament Bid With 3-0 Defeat Of Florida State

Tigers Clinch ACC Title And NCAA Tournament Bid With 3-0 Defeat Of Florida State

Nov. 16, 2007

Final Stats  |  Action Photos

CLEMSON, SC – The 2007 Clemson volleyball team clinched an NCAA Tournament bid and at least a share of the ACC title on Friday night with a 3-0 (30-24, 30-19, 30-26) sweep of Florida State at Jervey Gym. The Tigers are now 19-1 in conference action with two matches left to play. A win in either of those contests – or a Duke loss – would give Clemson the crown outright. With a higher overall winning percentage and the head-to-head advantage over the Blue Devils, the Tigers earned the ACC’s automatic bid and will be making their first appearance in the NCAA Championships since 1999.

“We are just so happy right now!” Clemson Head Coach Jolene Jordan Hoover said. “We beat Duke twice but we still have some work to do to try to get it on our own.”

By securing no worse than a share, the 2007 squad is just the second Clemson team to be named the ACC Champion. The Tigers won the 1997 conference tournament for the distinction. Then in 1999, they ranked first in the league with a 15-1 record but fell in the tournament and were, therefore, not officially recognized as the champion.

The 2007 team also became the first Clemson athletic program to clinch an ACC title on the Clemson campus since the men’s soccer team won the 2001 ACC Tournament held at its home venue of Historic Riggs Field.

Clemson will conclude its 2007 regular season next week against Maryland and Boston College. The Tigers will face the Terps on Wednesday in College Park before wrapping up the ACC schedule in Chestnut Hill against the Eagles on Friday.

Clemson’s defense had a spectacular night as the Seminoles hit a meager .083 percentage for the match. The Tigers posted 15 total team blocks with 44 digs. Danielle Hepburn led the squad at the net with nine blocks as well as on offense with 11 kills.

Sophomore libero Didem Ege tallied 16 defensive saves against Florida State and now ranks fifth in school history with 525 for the season.

“I am so pleased with how well the team played tonight,” said Hoover. “Florida State is a really strong offensive team and I thought, especially in the first two games, we did a really good job of containing their two top hitters.”

Clemson scored the final five points of the first game, notching the last two on kills by Leslie Mansfield, for the 1-0 lead in the match.

The Tigers defense then held Seminole hitters to a .000 hitting percentage in the second game as it posted seven total team blocks in the frame. Steiner and Hepburn tallied a solo and two block assists each, while Mansfield, Jeannette Abbott notched at least one as well.

Meanwhile, the Clemson offense hit .370 with 14 kills in the game. Outsides Abbott and Lia Proctor led the way with four apiece. A six-point run on Murphy’s serve created a 25-16 cushion and the Tigers went on to win the game, 30-19.

Down 15-14 in game three, Clemson scored seven straight with Abbott serving to take the lead and control of the game. The Seminoles brought it back to within three at 28-25 before Tiger senior Courtney Lawrence posted a kill for #29. Proctor then secured the victory and ACC title with her eighth kill of the night.

Makini Thompson and Mira Djuric each tallied 10 kills for Florida State (14-13, 11-8 ACC).