Sept. 12, 2008
COLUMBIA, SC – The Tiger volleyball team forced a thrilling fifth set after trailing 2-1 in the match, but South Carolina came out on top, 18-16, in the final set to post the victory in the Carolina Challenge on Friday night at the Volleyball Competition Facility. Clemson will wrap up action in the tournament on Saturday against the College of Charleston at 12:30 pm.
The Tigers (5-3) had three chances to close out the match but the Gamecocks’ Ivana Kujundzic responded with a kill each time. She also recorded her team’s 17th point before Annie Thomas closed out the set on her 13th kill of the night. With South Carolina ahead 12-11, Clemson regained the serve and posted a block and a kill for a three-point lead and the first match point. Kujundzic notched the kill and Sarah Cline recorded an ace to tie the match. Danielle Hepburn scored the Tigers’ 15th point before the Gamecocks matched the total, and Brittany Fennell’s kill was the Tigers’ final point of the night.
Hepburn recorded 16 kills in the effort with six total blocks, while Lia Proctor also had 16 kills for Clemson. Defensively, Didem Ege tallied a season-high 25 digs and the team posted 12 total blocks.
Kujundzic led all hitters with 22 kills, and Belita Salters posted 18 for South Carolina (7-1) as well.
Led by Proctor’s nine kills and .500 hitting clip in the set, Clemson took a 1-0 lead (25-19) in the match. She helped the team to a .361 figure with 17 total kills. The Tigers also rallied from an early deficit to take a three-point advantage on Proctor’s serve, which was one of just two runs of over two points by either team. Clemson was responsible for the other one as well, ending the set with four straight points.
Kujundzic responded to Proctor’s first set with eight kills against just one error in the second and South Carolina claimed the frame, 25-14. Up by just one at 7-6, the Gamecocks ran off seven straight points on the service of Hannah Lawing. The Tigers couldn’t recover, managing just seven more points the rest of the way. Fittingly, the set ended on a kill by Kujundzic. South Carolina then went up 2-1 in the match, claiming set three, 25-18. The Gamecocks again took advantage of a pair of runs while Clemson scored back-to-back points just twice in the set.
The Tigers won the fourth set by a 25-22 margin. They jumped out to a 14-7 advantage and held on as the Gamecocks crept back into the set. A Hepburn kill put Clemson at set point at 24-22, but South Carolina fought off the Tigers twice before Jeannette Abbott recorded a kill to force the fifth set.
Hepburn posted her 450th career block assist during the second set of Clemson’s 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-19) win over Winthrop earlier Friday afternoon to break Cindy Stern’s school record. The senior from Miami, FL had five total blocks in the contest as Clemson held the Eagles to a .099 hitting percentage.
Proctor led Clemson (5-2) in kills for the fifth straight match with 14, while Hepburn added 10 for a .444 hitting percentage. Kelley Taylor had nine kills to lead the Winthrop (3-4) offense, while Kellie Sellers and Janice Rivera each tallied nine kills.
Carolina Challenge Friday Tournament Results South Carolina 3, College of Charleston 0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-22)>Clemson 3, Winthrop 0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-19)> College of Charleston 3, Winthrop 0 (25-19, 25-21, 25-20>South Carolina 3, Clemson 2 (19-25, 25-14, 25-18, 22-25, 18-16)
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