CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson volleyball team travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala. to face San Diego State, Florida International and Alabama in the Crimson-White Tournament this weekend. The Tigers play the Lady Aztecs at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 19 followed by Saturday matches against FIU at 12 p.m. and the tournament finale against Alabama at 8 p.m.
Clemson has a 9-1 record so far this season and is coming off three wins at the Clemson Classic held in Jervey Gym last weekend. The Tigers defeated William & Mary (3-0), Wofford (3-0) and dug deep for a (3-2) win over Tennessee State to claim the tournament title. Freshman setter Kate Federico was named the tournament MVP, while outside hitters senior Kristin Faust and sophomore Leah Perri also made the all-tournament team.
Faust leads the Tigers in kills per set with 3.84, and is second in digs per set (2.82) behind only the 3.13 digs per set by fellow senior Niki Collier. Clemson is led in blocking by another senior, Karis Watson, who has 60 total blocks (1.58 per set). Watson’s 60 total blocks rank second in the nation, while her blocks per set average places her 11th nationally. Federico leads the team in assists with 393 so far, for an average of 10.34 per set.
Clemson’s first opponent in the tournament is San Diego State, which has a 3-4 record after falling to #19 San Diego 3-0 on Tuesday. The Aztecs are led on offense by Ciara Brown, with a 2.89 kills per set average. Devyn Pritchard leads the team in digs with an average of 3.85 per set, and the assist leader is Chloe Mathis (9.08 a/s). The Tigers and San Diego State have played only once previously, and the Tigers won that matchup in 1994.
FIU enters the weekend with a 3-7 overall record, and a 0-1 mark in Conference USA after falling to Florida Atlantic 3-1 on Wednesday. The Panthers are led in kills and digs by Lucia Castro with 3.33 and 3.12 per set, respectively. Anabela Sataric leads the team in assists with 8.77 per set. Clemson has a 1-3 all-time record against FIU, falling 3-1 in 2008, the most recent matchup between the two teams.
Alabama comes in to the tournament sporting an 8-2 record following a 3-0 sweep of UAB on Tuesday. The Crimson Tide is led in kills by Krystal Rivers (3.89 k/s), in digs by Brittany Thomas (2.50) and in assists by Bria Green (11.03 a/s). The Tigers have faced Alabama eight times, with the first meeting coming in 1980, and have a 5-3 all-time record against the Tide. The most recent meeting between the two teams was a 3-2 victory for Alabama on Sept. 20, 2013 in the Clemson Classic.
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