Previewing 2018 Volleyball: Clemson

After a 9-0 start to the season, Boston College volleyball suffered its first taste of defeat at the New England Challenge, dropping close matches to local rivals Harvard and Northeastern just before the start of ACC play. First up in conference competition for the Eagles is Clemson, a team that has had its ups and downs this season. The Tigers started the season 4-3, then proceeded to rattle off five wins in a row, dropping just two sets total in the process. Their win streak was halted last Saturday by Tulsa in five sets, however,  leaving Clemson looking to regain some momentum heading into its clash with BC.

Who is BC playing?

Clemson

When is BC playing?

Friday, Sept. 21, 7 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

The Power Gym at Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

How to Watch:

The game will be livestreamed on ACC Network Extra

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) The Eagles have been stellar defensively so far this season. They have allowed an opponent hitting percentage of just .135—the second-lowest in the conference.

2) BC has already bettered its win total of seven from a year ago. Next up? It’ll try to improve on its 4-16 ACC record from 2017.

3) Amaka Chukwujekwu and Ally Mullen have led BC’s front line defense. They both average 1.20 blocks per game, a number that’s tied for sixth-best in the conference.

Clemson:  

1) The Tigers have historically had BC’s number. They lead the all-time series between the teams, 19-5, although the teams did split their two encounters in 2017.

2) The Eagles will have to be at their best defensively. Clemson leads the ACC in both total kills (652) and assists (686).

3) The Tigers have been paced by two freshmen so far in 2018. Astynne Alberts leads them with 138 kills, while freshman setter Gabby Easton has recorded 572 assists through 13 games.

Last Meeting:

The teams met twice during the 2017 season, and both were victorious on their home floor. First, the Eagles swept the Tigers in straight sets, thanks to a season-high 11 service aces. Just two weeks later though, Clemson returned the favor, sweeping BC, in large part because of Kaylin Korte’s 16 kills.

Outlook:

Clemson will be the first real measure of how far BC has progressed in its short time under new head coach Jason Kennedy. The matchup will likely come down to the strengths of the two teams: BC’s defense and Clemson’s high-powered attack. If the Eagles can shake off a disappointing New England Challenge and perform to their standard defensively, they should feel good about their chances to get a win in their conference opener.

Featured Image by Tiger Tao / Heights Staff

About Peter Kim 51 Articles
Peter Kim is the assistant sports editor of The Heights. He’s from Seattle, will die happy if the Mariners make the playoffs once in his lifetime, and still refuses to watch any of Super Bowl XLIV. Follow him on twitter @PeterKim_4