Virginia Volleyball Falls To Clemson 3-1 in ACC Opener
Sept. 27, 2002
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Third-year rightside hitter Katie Synan (Fredericksburg, Va./Chancellor) registered a career-high 22 kills and third-year libero Whitney Ashcraft (Yorktown, Ind./Burris) recorded a career-best 29 digs, but it wasn’t enough as the Virginia volleyball team suffered a 3-1 (33-31, 27-30, 30-21, 30-28) loss to Clemson Friday evening (September 27) at University Hall. It was the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams. With the loss, the Cavaliers fall to 6-10 on the season and 0-1 in the ACC. The Tigers won their sixth consecutive match and improve 10-6 overall and 1-0 in the conference.
Synan drilled a match-high 22 kills to break her former career best of 14 against Liberty on October 10, 2000. She also hit an impressive .359 in the match and added four digs and three blocks. Ashcraft’s match-high 29 digs ties for the eighth most in a single match at Virginia, and bettered her previous career-best of 28 against the College of Charleston on September 6, 2002. It was also the 14th consecutive match Ashcraft reached double figures in digs. Third-year outside hitter Paige Davis (Austin, Texas/Westlake) registered her seventh double-double of the season with 11 kills and 10 digs. Fourth-year middle Simona Kuipers (Bow Island, Alberta, Canada/Senator Gershaw) hit a team-high .391 with 13 kills. Kuipers also added five digs and four blocks. Second-year outside hitter Celeste Laborde (New Orleans, La./Academy of the Sacred Heart) was the fourth UVa player to reach double digits in kills as she had 12 and it marked the first time in the 2002 season four Cavaliers have reached double figures in kills in a match. Laborde also tallied five digs and three blocks. First-year setter/outside hitter Kristin Chaney (Johnston, Iowa/Johnston) also notched a career-high as she dished out 54 assists, the fourth straight match she has increased her career-high in assists.
Leslie Finn led Clemson with 18 kills and added 12 digs for a double-double. Setter Jessi Betcher also notched a double-double with 51 assists and 12 digs. Lori Ashton was credited with 13 kills, while Ryane Beasley and Marija Zoric both totaled 11 kills. Stephanie Haskell paced the Tigers in digs with 16.
UVa held a 69-60 edge in kills while Clemson won the defensive battle, holding a 71-63 advantage in digs. The Cavaliers won the blocking battle, 10-6.
In the first game, neither team led by more than four points. With the score tied at 30-30, Chaney registered a kill to give the Cavaliers the lead, but Clemson scored the final two points of the game for a 33-31 victory. UVa evened the match at a game apiece with a 30-27 win in game two. The Cavaliers trailed 20-14, but rallied to tie the match at 24-24. A Kuipers kill gave Virginia the lead for good, 26-25 and UVa went on to win 30-27. The Tigers pulled ahead 2-1 with a 30-21 victory in game three. In the fourth and final game, UVa jumped out to an early lead, but the Tigers took the lead for good 21-20 on a UVa hitting error and held on for the victory, 30-28.
Virginia continues its ACC-opening weekend when it hosts 25th-ranked Georgia Tech at 7:00 p.m. Saturday evening (September 28) at University Hall.