CLEMSON, S.C. – Both junior Cate Long (21 kills) and sophomore Devan Taylor (29 digs) had career nights for the Tigers, but it wasn’t enough as Clemson (9-4, 0-1 ACC) dropped its ACC opener to Virginia Tech (8-4, 1-0 ACC) in five sets on Friday evening in Jervey Gym.
The Tigers came out swinging in the first set clocking a .359 hitting percentage led by Long hitting .583 with eight kills. Camryn Hannah followed with four kills, and freshman Becca Micelle had two aces to help Clemson take the first set, 25-21.
The Tigers and the Hokies were neck and neck in the second set as each team finished with 15 kills and two blocks. Virginia Tech edged Clemson, 26-24, after clocking three aces in the set. The Hokies also took set three, 28-26, behind a 20-kill performance and by outhitting the Tigers .275 to .244.
Hannah gave the advantage back to the Tigers in the fourth set after leading the charge with six kills. Senior Mckenna Slavik had a crucial ace down the stretch to help force a fifth and deciding set after the Tigers won set four, 25-22.
Clemson started the fifth set strong with Slavik and redshirt freshman Jacyn Bamis having back-to-back kills. The Tigers and the Hokies traded points with Virginia Tech holding an 8-7 lead when the two teams traded sides. Despite the strong battle, the Hokies were able to string together more scoring runs down the line than the Tigers to take the final set, 15-12.
Clemson continues ACC action at home on Sunday at 1 p.m. against Wake Forest. The match can be streamed on ACCNX.
Photos courtesy of Reece Etiemble, Clemson Athletics