ATLANTA — The Clemson Volleyball team fell by a 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-15) count to Georgia Tech in O’Keefe Gym on Friday night in what was both teams’ ACC opener. The Jackets (8-2, 1-0 ACC) swept the Tigers (9-3, 0-1 ACC) for the first time since the 2005 season. Clemson will have a week to prepare for Maryland and Boston College, who come to Jervey on Sept. 21 and 22, respectively.
Clemson had swept Georgia Tech in both matches a season ago, but it was Tech who struck first in 2012, handing Clemson their first conference loss.
Sandra Adeleye led Clemson with 11 kills in 26 swings and hit .385, but the Jackets were able to hold ACC kills leader Mo Simmons to a season-low seven. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech outside hitters Monique Mead and Bailey Hunter combined for 31 kills in 64 attempts to lead the Yellow Jackets.
Georgia Tech played well all-around, connecting on 50 kills and hitting .336 in the match, while Clemson was only able to put down 28 scores in 100 swings. The Yellow Jackets had 11 blocks, all of them coming in the final two sets, and controlled the outsides.
Georgia Tech took an early 11-2 lead behind some strong serving. Clemson tagged Mead on her first swing for a block, but the senior connected on three kills over the next eight points. The Jackets pounded the outside with a variety of shots, as Clemson struggled with the tough service of Tech. In the set, the Jackets had 19 kills, while holding Clemson to seven, the fewest in a set this season, as they went on to take the first set, 25-15.
In the season, one five-point run by Tech in the middle of the set was the difference, as the teams played close most of the way. Clemson brought the Jackets down to a .226 hitting percentage, but Tech had five blocks in the set, keeping the Tigers off-balance. Adeleye was able to put down five kills in the frame, but the Tiger outsides couldn’t get much going as Tech took the set, 25-20.
The Jackets got out quickly in the third set, taking an early 9-4 lead behind a pair of blocks and four Hunter points. They stretched the lead to ten at 19-9, and were able to side out on 11 of 13 opportunities.
Clemson plays Maryland on Sept. 21 in Jervey Gym, the first home match in seven contests.