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Whale of a Weekend

April 19, 2004

Clemson, SC – You can make a case that this past weekend was the most successful spring sports weekend in Clemson athletic history. Between Friday, April 16 and Sunday, April 18 Clemson won Atlantic Coast Conference Championships in men’s outdoor track, men’s golf and women’s tennis. Additionally, the men’s tennis team reached the finals of the ACC Tournament by upsetting the number-one seed (North Carolina), and the baseball team took two out of three on the road against a top 10 North Carolina team.

This marked the first time since the 1996-97 academic year that Clemson won three ACC titles in the same weekend. That year, Clemson won the ACC title in men’s tennis, men’s outdoor track and men’s golf on the same weekend in April. That is the only other time Clemson has won three ACC championships in the same weekend. But, that April weekend in 1997, the Clemson baseball team was swept at NC State, making this past weekend more successful overall.

Clemson has three ACC titles this year, the most since the program had three in the 1999-00 academic year. The school record is eight, set in 1986-87.

The first ACC title of the weekend was captured by Bob Pollock’s men’s track team. It was the program’s 11th outdoor championship, the ninth under Pollock, who has been at Clemson since the 1988-89 academic year. Clemson won the event at the Belk Track at Fetzer Field by scoring 224 points, an all-time ACC meet record. The Tigers won five events on Saturday, as Michael Bolling, Rick Hill, Tye Hill, Adam Linkenauger and the 4x100m relay team led Clemson on day two of the championships.

The men’s golf team took the ACC Championship at The Old North State Club at New London, NC with a team score of 837, 27-under-par. That was the second lowest team score in the 51-year history of the ACC tournament. Clemson won the event on Sunday, but the team’s 275 score on Saturday was a big reason for the victory. That 13-under-par score was a Clemson record for a single round in an ACC tournament. Jack Ferguson finished second individually with a 206 score, while Matt Hendrix was third at 208. It was the eighth ACC Championship for head coach Larry Penley.

The Lady Tiger tennis team won its first ACC Championship since 1987 with a 4-2 victory over Duke on Sunday afternoon in Raleigh. Duke was ranked fifth in the nation entering the tournament and it marked the second straight weekend Clemson has defeated Duke. The Blue Devils have just four losses all year and half of them are to Nancy Harris’s Clemson team. Clemson has now won 11 consecutive matches and has a 22-3 overall record. It is Clemson’s longest winning streak since the Lady Tigers won the first 11 matches of the 1986 season.

Clemson’s men’s tennis team reached the finals of the ACC tournament with wins over Georgia Tech and North Carolina. The Tar Heels were the number-one seed in the tournament and ranked 13th in the nation, but Chuck Kriese’s team came away with the 4-2 victory. Virginia, seeded second, then defeated Clemson in the finals 4-3. That decision came down to the third set of the final match.

While it was not competing in an ACC Tournament, the Clemson baseball team took two of three games from North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Clemson won the first contest 2-1 in a game that was finished on Saturday afternoon after a power failure at Boshamer Stadium postponed Friday night’s game. Clemson then won on Sunday 4-2 in 10 innings. Clemson also defeated sixth ranked South Carolina, 13-5 earlier in the week, giving Jack Leggett’s team three wins over top 10 teams in a five-day period.