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Volleyball To Open NCAA Tournament Play On Friday

Volleyball To Open NCAA Tournament Play On Friday

Nov. 28, 2007

Clemson Volleyball Notes

CLEMSON, SC – The 20th-ranked Clemson volleyball team will begin its post season on Friday night in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. The Tigers (28-3) will take on the Alabama Crimson Tide (15-14) at 7:00 pm (or 30 minutes following the previous match) at Jervey Gym.

Tickets for Friday’s session will go on sale at 4:00 pm, one hour prior to the UCLA-Alabama A&M contest, at the entrance to Jervey Gym. No advance sales will be allowed. Admission is $10 for adults, $6 for students and senior citizens, and $4 for children ages 3-12. Children under three are admitted free of charge. All seating is general admission so fans are encouraged to come early.

Clemson is making just its sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its first since 1999.

The Tigers are led by first-team All-ACC selection Danielle Hepburn, who owns team-bests with 409 kills and 153 total blocks. The junior from Miami, FL is also on pace to set a single-season record with her .408 hitting percentage. Hepburn is currently ranked #1 for a career figure, as she is hitting .345 in her three seasons. Hepburn was joined on the first-team by setter Didem Ege. Murphy is guiding the Clemson offense to a .279 team hitting percentage that would set a school record, and the sophomore is also averaging 12.71 assists per game. Ege’s 5.36 digs per game average is also on pace for a new program best. The native of Istanbul, Turkey has tallied 568 defensive saves while also tallying 28 service aces.

Tigers Versus The Field Clemson has played just eight total matches against the three other teams in its bracket.

The Tigers hold a 4-2 advantage over Alabama that includes a 2-1 record in matches played on their home court. The teams last met in the 1995, when the Crimson Tide won a 3-0 decision in Jervey Gym.

Clemson has then won both previous meetings with Alabama A&M, most recently defeating the Bulldogs, 3-0, in the Mizuno/Auburn Challenge in Auburn, AL during the 2005 season.

A match-up between the Tigers and UCLA Bruins on Saturday night would be the first meeting in history between the two schools.

Scouting Alabama The Crimson Tide earned an at-larage bid to the 2007 NCAA Tournament with a 15-14 overall record. Alabama compiled a 12-8 record in SEC play to finish fifth in the conference.

Crystal Hudson leads the squad with 437 kills while boasting a .345 hitting percentage. The senior middle hitter has also tallied a team-best 102 total blocks on the year. Senior setter Brigitte Slack is averaging 12.09 assists per game with 1366 in Alabama’s 113 games. Defensively, Amy Pauly owns a Crimson Tide-best 592 digs.

Overall, Alabama is averaging 2.24 blocks per game while avoiding it on the offensive side as opponents have posted just 1.86 blocks per game. The Crimson Tide are recording 15.41 kills per game with a .221 hitting percentage.

Scouting UCLA Although an at-large selection, the Bruins enter NCAA Tournament play as the eighth seed and with a #12 AVCA ranking. UCLA owns a 20-10 record this season and has faced 15 ranked teams during the year, winning seven of those matches.

Three Bruin hitters have tallied over 300 kills for the season, led by Ali Daley with 400. Kaitlin Sather and Rachell Johnson have tallied 381 and 352, respectively. The team’s setter Nellie Spicer owns a 12.80 assist per game average to rank 28th nationally. On the defensive side, UCLA averages 19.21 digs per game, which is listed at #20 in the nation. Six players have tallied triple digits in digs with Daley leading the way with 381. At the net, Johnson has posted 122 total blocks to help the Bruins average 3.00 per game. Katie Mills also has at least 100 blocks on the year with 103.

Scouting Alabama A&M Alabama A&M received an invitation to the 2007 NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Bulldogs enter Friday’s match against UCLA with a 15-9 overall record and having won 11 of their last 14 matches.

Brittani Lewis leads the A&M offense with 332 kills while also posting a team-best 66 total blocks, including 34 solos. Shondrell Clarke trails her by just one with 65, while Rose Corneille has tallied 331 defensive saves for the team high.