STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Clemson (5-7) swept Rhode Island (5-7), 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-22) before falling to No. 20 Penn State (9-3) in three (14-25, 17-25, 12-25) to conclude the Penn State Tournament. Senior, Leah Perri earned a nod to the all-tournament for the third time this season.
“Leah stepping into a six-rotation role as a middle helped to stabilize us after a difficult match on Friday night,” said head coach Hugh Hernesman. “We knew that we needed to make some changes and we needed to be creative given our injury situation and the team responded real well to something we really haven’t worked on in practice.”
“I thought we won the serve and serve receive game today in the first match. We came out with a level of confidence and aggressiveness that we didn’t have last night. I was very impressed with how we responded and us achieving the level of play we need to be at in order to be competitive.”
Kailey Harvell led the Tigers in the first match, hitting .360 on the outside with 13 kills, an ace and three blocks. Outside of Harvell, Clemson’s offensive effort was balanced as Perri and Megan McGinley each finished with six kills in the middle with eight blocks between them. McGinley led the Tigers with five while Perri, Harvell, and Tori Woogk all finished with three. Woogk and Annie Carter each finished with four kills.
The story of the match however was Clemson’s serving as it had the Rams out of system throughout the match and the Tigers aced Rhode Island nine times. Sydney Moseley, Keely Hayes, Carter and Perri all finished with two to their credit.
In her first start at libero this season, Moseley registered 12 digs with Hayes and Perri not far behind. Hayes finished with nine digs to complement her 26 assists while Perri finished with eight on the night.
The Tigers’ attack was balanced against the Nittany Lions as well with Perri, McGinley and Harvell each totaling five kills. Carter wasn’t far behind with four. Moseley matched her earlier performance with 12 digs in the match and Perri finished with 12 as well. Clemson’s serve continued to be a strength as Perri, Harvell, Carter and Hayes each registered an ace in the loss.
The conclusion of the Penn State Tournament marks the end of non-conference play for the Tigers. Clemson is back on the road next week to face off with Virginia Tech on Friday, September 23 at 7:00 p.m., and then finish the weekend at Pittsburgh on Sunday, September 25 at 1:00 p.m.
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