Undefeated Clemson Hosts South Carolina Wednesday

Sept. 14, 1999

CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson (7-0) will play host to state-rival South Carolina Wednesday at 7 p.m. Although the Gamecocks lead the overall series 27-17, under the current head coaches the series is tied, 3-3, with all six matches ending in 3-0 decisions. The Tigers claimed victories in ’93, ’94 and ’97, while the Gamecocks won in ’95, ’96 and ’98.

When the teams last met in Jervey Gym, Clemson took a 15-11, 15-8, 15-2 victory, outhitting South Carolina .293 to -.013 in the contest. The Tigers had 17 team blocks in the match.

This weekend the Tigers will face Illinois State, head coach Jolene Jordan Hoover’s alma mater, and Furman in Jervey Gym. Friday night’s match between Clemson and Illinois State will be the first match ever between the two teams.

Clemson holds a 26-0 series advantage over Furman. The two teams last met in 1996, when the Tigers defeated the Paladins 3-1 in Greenville. Clemson Wins Big Orange Bash

The Clemson volleyball team, ranked 15th nationally, won the Big Orange Bash in Jervey Gym last weekend. Clemson senior middle hitter Cindy Stern was named the Big Orange Bash Tournament MVP after hitting .383 with 25 kills, seven errors and 47 attempts in the two matches.

On Friday night the Tigers defeated Kentucky 3-0 (15-2, 15-9, 15-10) to record their first-ever victory over the Wildcats. Clemson outhit Kentucky .337 to .142 in the match. The Tigers were led by sophomore Jodi Steffes, who hit .750 with 10 kills, 1 error and 12 attempts.

Senior Emily Gorla had 13 digs to pace the Tigers and hit .400 in the win (seven kills, one error, 15 attempts), while Stern led all hitters with 12 kills. Freshman Mallory Benson hit .625 for the Tigers, adding five kills, no errors and eight kills. Freshman setter Jodi Betcher had 42 assists and five service aces to lead the team.

On Sunday afternoon, Clemson defeated #30 Notre Dame 3-0 (15-13, 15-3, 15-6). Betcher had 39 assists and three service aces to lead the Tigers, while Steffes hit .333 and led the team with 10 digs.

Senior Alison Coday paced the team with 15 kills, hitting .286 and recording seven digs. Gorla hit .368 with nine kills, two errors and 19 attempts, and Stern hit .375 with 13 kills, four errors and 24 attempts.

Betcher, Coday and Gorla represented the Tigers on the all-tournament team. Betcher had 81 assists (13.50 per game) for the tournament, with eight service aces. Coday had 25 kills and 12 digs in the two matches, and Gorla hit .382 with 16 digs and 16 kills.

By the Numbers So far this season the Tigers are outhitting their opponents .357 to .115. Clemson has 50 service aces in the seven matches, while Tiger opponents have just 20 aces in the span. Clemson has 24 block solos, compared to six from Tiger opponents, and the Tigers have 52 total team blocks versus 33 total team blocks by opposing teams.

Tigers Riding 21-Game Winning Streak Clemson has won all seven of its matches in three games this season. The 21-game winning streak is the fourth-longest in Tiger volleyball history.

Longest Clemson Volleyball Streaksof Consecutive Games Won 39 September 5, 1992 to Sept. 25, 1992 30 First 30 games of 1994 season 23 Oct. 23, 1994 to Nov. 18, 1994 21 First 21 games of 1999 season (Active)

Clemson Ranked Among Nation’s Leaders The Clemson volleyball team is ranked 15th nationally according to the latest AVCA Division I Coaches Preseason Poll, moving up from an 18th-place ranking last week. The team received 618 votes in the national poll.

Other ranked teams on Clemson’s schedule include 20th-ranked Arkansas and 27th-ranked North Carolina.

In their first weekend of competition, the Tigers defeated Texas A&M, ranked 16th in the preseason, and Michigan State, ranked 22 in the preseason. Last weekend the Tigers defeated 30th-ranked Notre Dame.

Clemson Sweeps ACC Weekly Honors Clemson’s Cindy Stern and Jessi Betcher earned Atlantic Coast Conference Player and Rookie of the Week honors, respectively, last week after leading the Tigers to a 4-0 record at the Michigan State Volleyball Classic.

Stern was chosen tournament MVP after hitting .576 with 57 kills, four errors and 92 attempts over the four matches. Stern added three service aces, 26 digs and 14 blocks for the Tigers.

Betcher led the Tigers with 138 assists in the tournament, averaging 15.33 assists per game. She tallied nine kills, five aces and 27 digs in the tournament.

Tigers Preseason ACC Favorites Clemson was selected by the league’s nine head coaches as the preseason favorite for the upcoming 1999 ACC volleyball season. The Tigers collected 77 votes out of a possible 81. The complete poll is as follows:

1 CLEMSON 2 Virginia 3 Georgia Tech 4 Florida State 5 N. Carolina 6 Wake Forest 7 Duke 8 Maryland 9 NC State

Tigers Seeking Records Several Tigers are among Clemson’s career leaders in many categories. Senior Cindy Stern ranks second in block assists (377), third in kills (1307), fifth in block solos (132) and fifth in attempts (3032).

Senior Alison Coday ranks fourth in kills (1244) and fourth in attempts (3094), while junior Missy Kudelka is in fifth place on the Clemson all-time list with 1527 assists.

Hoover Holds Clemson Coaching Record Head Coach Jolene Jordan Hoover, now in her seventh season as the Tigers’ head coach, became Clemson’s all-time winningest volleyball coach last season after leading the team to a 22-11 record. She holds a 150-60 record at Clemson and is 243-91 for her career.

Hoover has a stellar 67-35 record in ACC matches for a .676 winning percentage, best among active league head coaches.

Fabulous Freshmen Clemson’s two freshmen are making quite an impact in their first month on the team. Setter Jessi Betcher of Boulder, CO, is averaging 14.76 assists per game. She has 13 service aces in 17 games, for a 0.76 average per game. Betcher has been named to the all-tournament team at both tournaments the team has competed in this season.

Middle hitter Mallory Benson of Angola, IN, ranks second on the team with a .483 attack percentage (35 kills, six errors, 60 attempts). Benson has four block solos and nine block assists for 13 total blocks, also second on the Clemson team.

There’s No Place Like Home The Tigers have a 3-0 record in Jervey Gym this season. So far, 2,486 fans have come out to watch the team at home, an average of 829 fans per match.

Clemson recorded a 12-2 record in Jervey Gym last season and ranked 26th nationally in home attendance. Under head coach Jolene Jordan Hoover, the Tigers are 75-19 (.798) in Jervey Gym.

The Tigers will face South Carolina, Illinois State and Furman at home this week. Admission is free to all Clemson home volleyball matches.