Sept. 14, 2004
Clemson volleyball lost a five-game heartbreaker (30-27, 30-32, 30-20, 24-30, 13-15) to Georgia on Tuesday night at Jervey Gym. Georgia improved to 5-2 on the season with the victory, while Clemson dropped to 7-3 overall.
“It was a disappointing loss, but you have to give Georgia a lot of credit,” said Jolene Jordan Hoover, head coach for the Tigers. “They took a beating in game three but stayed in it and got us in five. We got a little lead in game four, but instead of finishing we just cruised. You can’t do that against a good opponent.”
Alexandra Oquendo led the Bulldogs with 20 kills, a .317 hitting percentage, and six block assists. Georgia setter Margot Wallace handed out 66 assists, while libero Brooke Burlingame had 24 digs.
Clemson was led by Leslie Finn, who finished with 23 kills and 12 digs. Brittany Ross had 16 kills, while Lori Ashton contributed with 15. Defensively, Anna Vallinch played brilliant with 34 digs. Her total tied for the fourth-best single-match performance in Clemson history. Denise Murphy had 34 digs against Western Carolina in 1986.
The Tigers got off to a good start by winning game one 30-27. With the game tied at 27, Clemson claimed the last three points to win it. In game two, Clemson led 30-29 but the Bulldogs scored the next three points to claim it. Clemson cruised to a 30-20 victory in the third game, with Leslie Mansfield notching three kills, two service aces, and a block assist.
Trailing 20-18 in game four, Georgia won 12 of the next 16 points to claim the 30-24 victory and force a fifth and deciding game. In the final game, Finn almost single-handedly won it for Clemson with a seven-kill performance. But, the Bulldogs prevailed 15-13 to end the back-and-forth thriller.
Next up for the Tigers is a trip to Gainesville, FL for the Florida Classic. Competing in the event will be host school Florida, Uconn, and UC Santa Barbara. Clemson takes on Florida on Friday at 7 PM, and will also play Saturday at 7 PM with the opponent yet to be determined.
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