Nov. 22, 1997
Women's Volleyball Falls to Clemson at ACC Tournament
RALEIGH, N.C- The Clemson Tigers ended the Maryland Terrapins run at a perfect season today by defeating Maryland 3-1 in the first ACC semifinal match held Saturday at N.C. State's Reynolds Coliseum.
The loss was the first suffered by the Terrapins this season, who became just the eighth team in NCAA history to finish the regular season undefeated. Maryland finished the regular season at 25-0, including 16-0 in conference play, and defeated the Wolfpack of N.C. State in yesterday's quarterfinal match to advance to today's match. Clemson, who was 23-6 in the regular season, entered the day's match on a high after defeating a scrappy Duke team 3-0 yesterday.
The Terrapins, who entered the tournament as the #1 seed, looked ready to extend their winning streak early in the match as they dominated the first game. Maryland's defense held Clemson to a hitting percentage of just .044. Meanwhile, the Terrapin offense found the cracks in the Tiger defense, recording 13 kills and a hitting percentage of .225. A 15-7 score gave Maryland an early 1-0 game lead.
However, the second game saw roles reversed as fourth-seeded Clemson made adjustments. The Tiger defense recorded 36 digs and 12 blocks to shut down Maryland's power attack. Meanwhile Clemson's offense began to come alive. The final score of 15-10 evened the match at one game apiece.
Clemson took a 2-1 game lead with a 15-8 win in game three as the Terrapins began to wear down. Once again it was the Tigers defense that set the Tempo with 26 digs and eight blocks. The game became a test of endurance as the two teams traded serves for nearly an hour before the Tigers came out on top. The final match of the day proved to be just as dramatic as Maryland took an early lead just to see Clemson come storming back. Once again the two teams traded serve and points as the match remained close. However, in the end the Clemson defense refused to surrender. The final score of 15-10 gave the Tigers the match and the chance to play for the ACC Championship tomorrow.
Clemson will meet the winner of the Florida State-Georgia Tech match on Sunday at 3:30. Admission to the match is $5 for adults and $2 for students. The championship match can also be seen live on HTS, Fox SportsSouth, and the Sunshine Network.
Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 #4 Clemson 7 15 15 15 #1 Maryland 15 10 8 10
Clemson was led by Alison Coday with 29 kills and Cindy Stern had 23 kills. Skye Frost had 27 digs for the Tigers. Elizabeth Efron led Maryland with 20 kills, while Eden Kroeger had 33 digs.
ACC Championships - Coaches' CommentsClemson Head Volleyball Coach: Jolene Hoover
"It was such a long and defensive match. Both teams had over 100 digs and that is incredible. It was just side out, side out, side out. It was a great win for us. Maryland is a great team. We out blocked them, but that doesn't show what a great defensive team they are. They touch a lot of balls that slows the ball down and then they are able to pick them up."
"Eden their setter kept dumping the second ball in the first game. We made an adjustment and were standing there and she still scored. I think we started serving a little harder and that didn't give her that option that much." "We just kept pressing. We wanted to keep the tempo up. We changed up our shots alot. We have been working on that the second half of the season. We only had five receiving errors which is really good. We didn't serve well, but they are a good passing team so its hard to get service aces against them."Maryland Head Volleyball Coach: Janice Kruger
"I thought Clemson prepared well against us. They were ready and did the right things. We tried to adjust but just didn't have it today. We had some injuries and had a little difficulties. You have to hit outside and we weren't able to do that today. Ellie (Efron) and Eden (Kroeger) played really hard but you just can't do it without outside hitters."
On the NCAA Tournament: "We still have an opportunity to do better than we did last year. We just have to go into the gym and work on somethings that we didn't do well today. It is really devastating to lose the conference championship."