JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The Clemson volleyball team (6-3) split action on the opening day of the Buccaneer Invitational taking the first match, 3-0, over USC Upstate (1-6) before dropping the evening bout, 3-2, against host, ETSU (3-5).
Vs. USC Upstate – W, 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-13)
The Tigers dominated the net from the first serve. Behind a powerful attacking percentage in the first to tally nine aces, Clemson swept USC Upstate in three sets.
In the first set, Clemson’s attackers recorded a .412 hitting percentage with 18 kills. The Tigers were spurred offensively by sophomore Azyah Dailey clocking four kills while Jacyn Bamis, Camryn Hannah and Ani Clark each added three. Also in the first set, Mia McGrath and Colleen Finney had an ace to help push Clemson to the 25-18 set win.
The second set was won from a defensive side with the Tigers recording four blocks, including Hannah having two solo and Bamis having one. Dailey continued to be a force offensively tallying five kills, while junior Cate Long picked up three aces. Long finished with a team-high four on the match.
Clemson closed the door on the Spartans in the third after only allowing them to have six kils compared to the Tigers’ 12. Freshman Mia Moore had a breakout set with five kills of her own while Becca Micelle, Devan Taylor, Mckenna Slavik and Long all had an ace.
At ETSU – L, 2-3 (24-26, 25-12, 25-17, 23-25, 12-15)
The Tigers maintained the lead for the majority of the first set but weren’t able to take the set after ETSU went on an 11-5 run for the comeback set, 26-24, victory. Clemson quickly bounced back in the second to even the sets at 1-1 after limiting ETSU to only 12 points. The Tigers strung together long scoring runs, including freshman Mia McGrath tallying back-to-back aces at the end of the set for the 25-12 victory.
The Tigers continued their momentum into the third set where Finney, Moore and McGrath picked up three-straight kills to push Clemson’s lead to 14-6. Mckenna Slavik helped the Tigers to a set victory with an ace to make it 22-15, and Finney and Hannah tallied late kills as Clemson took set three, 25-17.
Both the Buccaneers and the Tigers seemed to trade points with each other in the fourth. Neither team was able to string together more than four-consecutive points. The Buccaneers went on to win the set, 25-23, after putting together some timely blocks against the Tigers.
It came down to a fifth set to decide the winner of the evening match. The two programs traded points for the first few serves, but Clemson was able to take an advantage off a four-point run after Hannah tallied back-to-back kills and Anna Renwick recorded an ace. The Tigers continued to push ahead as ETSU made multiple attack errors, including hitting it right into the hands of Slavik and Finney at the net. Unfortunately, the Buccaneers were able to string together a 7-1 scoring run to take the set and the match.
The Tigers will conclude weekend action at the Buccaneer Classic tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. against Georgia State.