DURHAM, N.C. – The Clemson volleyball team (11-9, 2-7 ACC) battled but fell in five sets to Duke (11-8, 2-6 ACC) on Sunday afternoon in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Cate Long, Camryn Hannah and Colleen Finney each finished with 12 kills to lead the Tigers, while Devan Taylor (25), Long (15) and Mia McGrath (12) led the team defensively.
The Tigers and Blue Devils were neck and neck in the first set trading scoring runs with one another. Senior Mckenna Slavik stretched the Tigers lead to as much as five after picking up an ace, but Duke was able to make a comeback to tie things at 23-all. The two sides battled until Duke was able to get back-to-back kills to win the set 29-27.
Clemson fought back in the second with Hannah getting the first kill, followed by Finney contributing to the next three Tigers points with a kill and two solo blocks. Taylor served an ace, Hannah and Ani Clark combined for a block and Hannah picked up two more kills to put the Tigers on a six-point scoring run to run away with the set. The Blue Devils pulled within five, but McGrath and Hannah closed the set, 25-17, with three-straight kills.
The third set started like the first with Finney picking up the first three points for the Tigers with three kills. Clark had back-to-back aces to give Clemson a six-point advantage, but Duke fought its way back to take a 12-10 lead. The Tigers went to work at the service line and at the net as Taylor picked up her second ace, and Clark, Long and McGrath finished with kills down the stretch to reclaim the lead as Clemson went on to take the set, 25-20.
Duke flipped the script and took control of the match in the fourth set to take it, 25-16, to force a fifth set. The Blue Devils jumped out to an early lead in the fifth causing Clemson to take a timeout. Clark made a push to get the Tigers back into the match after switching sides with a kill and two service aces, but it wouldn’t be enough as Clemson fell in the final set, 15-9.
Clark finished the match with a career-high four aces. Finney tabbed five blocks, including two solo, to lead the team while Hannah and Clark added four and three, respectively.
Clemson returns to Jervey Gym to host Syracuse on Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. The match will be streamed on ACCNX.