Nov. 7, 2008
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DURHAM, NC – Junior Didem Ege recorded 31 defensive saves on Friday night for a new Clemson standard of 1,551, but the Tigers suffered a 3-1 (25-17, 25-27, 27-25, 25-21) loss to Duke at the Cameron Indoor Stadium in Durham, NC.
Ege tied Julie Rodriguez’ mark of 1,523 in the first set before breaking the record in the second set.
Jeannette Abbott and Danielle Hepburn each totaled 18 kills for Clemson (18-7, 10-4 ACC) while Kelsey Murphy added 28 defensive saves to her 45 assists.
Rachael Moss led four double-digit hitters with 18 kills for the Blue Devils, who improved to 19-7 on the year and into a tie for first place with the Tigers with a 10-4 conference ledger.
The Blue Devils totaled 11 block assists and one solo block in the first set to force a negative hitting percentage from the Tigers. Abbott and Hepburn combined for nine of Clemson’s 10 kills in the frame, while Abbott also had four digs. The teams traded points for the first part of the set, but Duke went on an 11-2 run from which the Tigers never recovered. Clemson avoided two set points but the margin was too great to overcome and the Blue Devils won, 25-17.
The Tigers prevailed in a hard-fought second set, 27-25, due in large part to the play of Abbott. The senior from Downers Grove, IL recorded seven kills in the set without an error to help Clemson raise its hitting percentage to a positive figure for the match. With the Tigers on top 20-19, kills by Duke’s Becci Burling, Jourdon Norman and Moss gave the home team the advantage. Clemson responded with three straight points of its own to regain the lead before kills by Moss and Sophia Dunworth put the Blue Devils just a point away from a two-set lead in the match. Murphy put a ball down to return the serve to the Tigers while Abbott recorded her sixth kill of the set to score Clemson’s 25th point. After Duke tied the set, Hepburn posted a kill and Abbott sealed the win for the Tigers.
Clemson opened the third set with a 7-1 run, but the Blue Devils slowly tightened the score and came away with a 2-1 advantage after another tough battle. Duke caught up with the Tigers at 16-16 and then took a three-point lead at 22-19. Trailing 24-22, Proctor and Hepburn recorded back-to-back kills before the Blue Devils scored their 25th point. A costly service error knotted the score again, but a pair of kills secured the win for Duke.
Clemson was unable to hold onto its leads against in the fourth set as the Blue Devils scored the final six points of the night. The Tigers were ahead for much of the set, but the Duke offense proved too strong as four of the six points were kills and Amanda Robertson clinched the win with back-to-back aces.
Clemson will head east on Interstate 40 on Saturday to take on Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, NC. The Tigers and Demon Deacons are slated for a 7:00 pm match.
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