Clemson’s undefeated mark at Jervey Gym came to an end Thursday night in Clemson. And unfortunately for the Tigers it came to rival South Carolina.
The Gamecocks defeated Clemson in a 5-set thriller, 25-23, 25-20, 19-15, 22-25 and 15-10.
It wasn’t all bad for the Tigers as they led in aces with 14, blocks with 11 and digs with 57.
They also got strong offensive performances from outside hitter Brooke Bailey with a team-high 13 kills, along with fellow outside hitters Kaylin Korte and middle Alyssa Deloney, who both had 12.
Emily Curtis led the way defensively with 24 digs in the five-set match.
After losing the first and second sets, the Tigers (5-3) rallied to tie the match with wins in the third and fourth sets, forcing a five and decisive set.
The third set began early with another challenge by Clemson after being called for a touch on the ball by the Gamecocks. The Tiger’s won the challenge to put them up 5-4.
Jori Radtke came in huge in the third set handing South Carolina three aces, two being back-to-back to keep the Tigers rolling.
Out of the 15-9 timeout, Emily Curtis handed the Gamecocks another ace to put the Tigers up 16-9. South Carolina tried to come back, but the Tigers went on to win the third set, 25-19.
Again, strong at the service line, Madi Howell served up back-to-back aces making the score 10-7 in the fourth, and a block by Pritchard and Korte raised the score to 11-7 in favor of the Tigers.
The Gamecocks rallied later in the set with three straight points in a row and the Tigers took a timeout to stop the momentum. A tip by Deloney put the Tigers up 17-14 and a block by Pritchard later increased the lead to 23-19.
Clemson hung on to force the fifth set with a 25-22 win.
The Tigers were up 8-7 at the side switch, but quickly fell, 10-9. Out of the timeout Korte gets another kill to tie the score at 10-10. The Gamecocks had another challenge call they won, putting them up 13-10.
It was a huge momentum change, and the Tigers took a tough loss at 15-10 in the third set.
Clemson will be back at Jervey Gym on Saturday to host Wisconsin at 3 p.m.
—photo courtesy of Clemson Athletic Communications
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