Tiger Volleyball Opens Season On Saturday With Two Wins At Microtel Mississippi State Classic
Aug. 25, 2007
STARKVILLE, MS - The 2007 Clemson volleyball team recorded a perfect day of competition to open its season, as the Tigers posted 3-0 victories over Arkansas-Little Rock and Murray State in Saturday's action at the Microtel Mississippi State Classic. Clemson will conclude play in Starkville, MS on Sunday afternoon as they will battle the host Bulldogs at 2:30 pm (EST) in the tournament finale.
Jeannette Abbott led the Tigers with 23 kills on the day, while Danielle Hepburn, Lia Proctor and Meghan Steiner each had 20-kill afternoons. Setter Kelsey Murphy then tallied 40 total assists and libero Didem Ege recorded 39 defensive saves.
Proctor led all hitters with 14 kills in the Arkansas-Little Rock contest, while Abbott added 11 in the victory. The Tigers' middles continued their hitting accuracy from a season ago as Hepburn recorded a match-high .389 figure and Steiner hit a .353 percentage. Didem Ege then tallied 24 digs in the three-game match to lead Clemson on the defensive front. Amila Barakovic led the Trojans with 10 kills.
Hepburn recorded a team-best 14 kills against Murray State while also posting six of the Tigers' 11 total blocks in the match. Steiner, Abbott and Leslie Mansfield also had double-figure kill totals in the second contest, tallying 13, 12 and 10, respectively. Steiner hit a .524 figure with just two errors in 21 attempts while Murphy led the squad with 21 digs. Tara DeMage had a team-high 11 kills for Murray State.
Clemson survived a late rally in the first game against the Trojans, holding on for the 30-26 win. After trailing by two at 9-7 early in the frame, the Tigers scored seven of the next eight points to take the 14-10 advantage. Arkansas-Little Rock staged its own rally with Clemson ahead 24-18, cutting the gap to just one. The Trojans then took the lead at 26-25 before the Tigers notched the final five points of the game.
Proctor and Clemson then came to life in the second game to win by a 30-20 margin. The sophomore from Spartanburg, SC tallied six kills, including the Tigers' first three points, for a .308 hitting percentage in the frame. Leading 21-13, Clemson then extended the advantage to a game-high 14 points at 27-13. Arkansas-Little Rock rallied to post seven of the next nine points and cut its deficit to 29-20. Hepburn then sealed the 2-0 match lead for the Tigers with a solo block.
The momentum carried into the third game as Clemson jumped out to a 16-6 lead. After holding a 22-11 advantage, the Tigers scored five straight points on Murphy's serve to take their largest lead of the match at 27-11. After a sideout, Clemson closed out the match with three straight points, notching the final one on Proctor's 14 th kill of the contest.
In their second match of the afternoon, the Tigers won a tight first game to take the 1-0 lead over Murray State. A six-point Clemson run put the Tigers on top, 14-10, but the Racers responded with their own rally to knot the score at 14 apiece. With Murray State leading 29-27, Abbott kept the frame alive for Clemson with a kill and Mansfield clinched the game with a kill for the Tigers' 32 nd point.
Clemson was then in control for the majority of the second frame, allowing Murray State just two rallies of multiple points. The Tigers utilized an early 11-5 lead and broke open the frame at 24-15. They went on to post a 30-20 win.
The third and final game was much like the second with Clemson taking the early lead. The Racers narrowed the margin to 16-13 before the Tigers rattled off five straight points on Murphy's serve. They held Murray State to just single point sideouts and clinched the game, 30-18, and their second victory of the tournament.