Volleyball opens with Big Orange Bash Tourny
by RONNIE KRANKOWSKI
This article originally appeared in The Tiger on August 28, 2009 | PRINT

Clemson’s volleyball team had its annual Orange and White scrimmage on Saturday for its final tune-up before heading into season play. The Tigers will host their first game of the season, a battle between state schools, in the annual Big Orange Bash Tournament. Clemson will be tested instantly as it open up tonight against heated rival, South Carolina. The Gamecocks are coming off their first 20-win season in six years. The game will take place at 7 p.m. in Jervey Gym. Clemson will also play host to Winthrop and the College of Charleston in the Big Orange Bash.

The Tigers will look to improve upon their 23-10 record from a year ago and have been picked to finish fifth in the ACC by the pre-season coach’s poll. The crucial returning starters for the Tigers are Lisa Proctor, Brittany Fennell, Didem Ege and Kelsey Murphy.

Proctor was second on the team in kills last season, averaging 3.47 kills per set and finished second-team All-ACC. Fennell was fourth on the team with 111 kills and had 292 total attacks. Didem Ege is Clemson’s career leader in defensive saves and digs per set and Kelsey Murphy is all-time third in assists and second in career assists per set.

The Tigers will also look for a valiant effort from their 10 underclassmen due to the losses of Danielle Hepburn and Jeannette Abbott. Hepburn led the team last season in kills and Abbott was the team leader in total attacks. The Gamecocks brings back five starters after going 21-9 last season.

The Tigers are looking at a tough schedule this season that includes visits to Miami, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Chapel Hill. The out-of-conference schedule does not look to get any easier with match-ups against Michigan State, Ole Miss and Charlotte.

The Tigers have had more than 20 wins the past three seasons and since Coach Hoover took over the coaching helm in 1993, the Tigers have gone an astonishing 314-175. The Tigers certainly have the talent to take home the ACC title this year and it should make for a fun season.

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