DURHAM, N.C. – The Clemson Tigers battled back in the third set, but ultimately dropped the weekend finale at Duke (20-25, 22-25, 29-31). Following the loss, Clemson moves to 16-13 overall and 7-10 in ACC action. Clemson was led by graduate Adria Powell, who picked up 13 points off nine kills, four block assists and two aces.
Mia McGrath followed Powell with 11 points with seven kills and a career-high four aces. Kateryna Tkachenko added 10.5 points from nine kills and three block assists. Junior Devan Taylor led the Tiger defense with 15 digs, while Mckenna Slavik finished with 32 assists. As a team, Clemson finished with nine aces led by McGrath and Powell. McKenna Gildon also added two, while Slavik rounded out the group with one.
Kennedy Wagner, Tkachenko and Powell led the Tigers offensively in the opening set with three kills each. The Blue Devils stretched their lead early in the opening set, but long scoring runs for the Tigers came with Becca Micelle and McGrath at the service line. McGrath was able to finish with two aces during her run, and kills from Powell and Kate Simington pulled Clemson back within two, but Duke was able to take the set following a 5-2 run.
Clemson pushed the tempo in the second set led by McGrath, who tallied two early kills. The Tigers also saw crucial blocks come at the hands of Simington, Powell and Tkachenko. Tkachenko and McGrath followed with kills to bring Clemson within one. Powell came alive offensively and tallied three kills for Clemson, but the Tigers dropped the second set, 25-22.
Tkachenko and McGrath stayed hot in the third set with early kills, while Powell and Mckenna Slavik added a block. Clemson went on a 4-0 scoring run with Slavik at the line that included a kill from Katie Hurta and an ace from Slavik to tie things at 10-all. Clemson strung together a 8-1 scoring run to take the lead that included two aces from McGrath, one from Powell and two blocks from the combined efforts of Powell, Slavik and Tkachenko. Duke came back to tie the set at 22-all, and both sides entered a back-and-forth battle that had the Blue Devils coming out on top, 31-29.
The Tigers will conclude the regular season on Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. when they travel to Blacksburg, Va. to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies on ACCNX.