Volleyball: Mo Simmons, Leah Perri lead Tigers' sweep of Notre Dame

Jolene Hoover: 'I’m just really impressed with how we’ve been able to stay the course'

Leah Perri returns the ball in the Tigers' volleyball match against Notre Dame

Photo by Mark Crammer

Leah Perri returns the ball in the Tigers' volleyball match against Notre Dame

The Clemson volleyball team hit .333 and posted 56 kills in a three-set victory (27-25, 25-22, 25-21) over Notre Dame on Friday night in Jervey Gym.

The Tigers (9-8, 3-3 ACC) evened up the all-time series at 2-2 with the Fighting Irish, who fell to 6-10 overall and 0-5 in their first season in the ACC.

On a night with more than 20 program alumni in the stands, it was a senior and a freshman that propelled Clemson to a second 3-0 win in Jervey this week.

Mo Simmons, who entered the match tops in the conference in kills per set, put down an astounding 24 kills and hit .550 on the night. Perri was equally impressive, tying a career-high with 14 kills, and did so without committing an attack error in 21 swings (.667 hitting pct.).

“Leah and Mo’s lines are awesome,” said head coach Jolene Jordan Hoover. “Leah has quietly been really steady and put up great numbers all year, and has been very consistent for a freshman. Mo has been just been reaching so high in hitting and hitting at such a high point, and it seems like she’s going over blocks. I’ve been impressed with her shot selection and how high she’s swinging.”

Simmons tallied her sixth consecutive double-double and 25th of her career, as she had 10 digs, and also had two blocks and was 17-for-17 in serve receive. She finished just one kill shy of her career high, which she set last season at Virginia Tech.

The Tigers downed the Yellow Jackets on Wednesday after hitting .295, and upped that performance to .333 on Friday against a tough Notre Dame squad that has fallen victim to a tough early season schedule. Clemson’s raucous atmosphere and efficient offense proved to be too much for the Irish in the first meeting since the 2000 season.

“I feel like we have worked really hard, and played really well against Florida State and Miami, and kept that going in the two matches this week," said Hoover. "We played a good Georgia Tech team and a good Notre Dame team, and it’s great to get those wins. I’m just really impressed with how we’ve been able to stay the course.”

Setter Hannah Brenner turned in one of her best performances of her career, as the Tiger hitters converted .540 percent of her sets for kills, upping her season conversion rate to .384. She had 47 assists in the match, and added seven digs and three blocks.

Outside hitter Kristin Faust had 12 kills and a match-high 13 digs, her third double-double of the season.

Notre Dame wasn’t able to get much going offensively, as none of their players finished in double-figure kills. Sammie Brown and Andie Olsen did finish with nine kills apiece on the evening as the Fighting Irish hit .218 overall.

Simmons was nearly untouchable most of the match, putting down nine kills in both the first and third set, and converted on six in eight swings in the second set. Perri was also even in her output, with five kills in the first and third sets, four in the second.

The Tigers will return to action next Friday at 6 p.m. against Wake Forest in Jervey Gym in a match that takes place before Rock the John. Sunday at 1 p.m. will be Clemson’s Dig Pink match against Duke.

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