CLEMSON, S.C. – The Tigers split action on the final day of the Clemson Invitational in Jervey Gym dropping the first match to The Citadel, 3-2, before sweeping the final match against Gardner-Webb, 3-0.
Vs. The Citadel – L, 2-3 (18-25, 26-24,18-25, 25-17, 11-15)
Box Score (PDF) | Box Score
Despite Clemson’s offense being evenly distributed between eight players, including Colleen Finney tying a career-high 13 kills and Azyah Dailey adding 11, the Tigers came up short against The Citadel to drop the first match of the day, 3-2.
The Citadel took an early lead in the first set off a couple attack errors by the Tigers. Both sides traded points for the remainder of the set which limited Clemson’s ability to close the scoring gap despite freshman Sophie Catalano picking up her fourth ace on the weekend and Finney coming up with some crucial kills. The Bulldogs took set one, 25-18.
The back-and-forth battle continued into the second set. The Tigers were sparked by Jacyn Bamis, Dailey and Finney at the net with each of them coming up with points when it mattered. Bamis finished the set with two blocks (one solo, one assisted) and four kills, including the set point. Dailey came away with three kills and one block assist while Finney tabbed four kills and an ace as Clemson took the second set, 26-24.
The third set was similar to the first with The Citadel stringing together a 10-point scoring run that Clemson wasn’t able to match as it dropped the third set, 25-18. The Tigers rebounded in the fourth putting together a six-point run to begin the set and another eight-point run to stretch the Tigers’ lead to 17-5. The set victory was spurred by Catalano tabbing five kills and a block assist.
It looked like The Citadel was going to run away with the fifth set after taking a 6-1 lead, but Clemson put pressure on the Bulldogs with Finney, Dailey and Catalano coming up with kills to bring the Tigers within three. Unfortunately, the Tigers came up short as the Bulldogs took the deciding set, 15-11.
Vs. Gardner-Webb – W, 3-0 (25-23, 25-12, 25-20)
The Tigers dominated the service line all evening as the team finished with 10 aces from four different players against Gardner-Webb to sweep the final match of the 2022 Clemson Invitational.
It started in the first set as Camryn Hannah, Cate Long, Jenna Moore and Catalano each contributed to Clemson clocking six aces. Dailey and Finney continued their hot streaks to lead the Tigers’ offense with four and three kills, respectively. Behind the strong offense, Clemson was able to edge set one, 25-23.
Clemson didn’t slow down and hit .636 in the second set with both Dailey and Hannah clocking five kills. The Tigers went on a 10-1 scoring run that stifled any momentum Gardner-Webb hoped to have. At one point, Finney, freshman Brooklyn Conner and Long picked up three-straight points to help seal the 25-12 set win.
Gardner-Webb took an early lead in the third set, but Clemson bounced back with Bamis getting a timely kill and Hannah tallying her third ace of the match – she would finish with four on the night. Junior setter Jenna Moore picked up back-to-back points with a block assist and a kill to further spur the Tigers. Clemson clinched the match, 25-20, with four-straight points following a kill from Bamis and another ace from Catalano.
The Tigers return to Jervey Gym on Tuesday, September 6 at 7 p.m. to host South Carolina as part of the Palmetto Series presented by S.C. Education Lottery. The match will be available on ACCNX.
Photos courtesy of Mikaela Carroll and Reece Etiemble, Clemson Athletics