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CHAPEL HILL, NC – The Clemson volleyball team fell to 19th-ranked North Carolina, 3-1 (25-19-, 25-19, 22-25, 25-23) at Carmichael Auditorium on Friday night. The Tigers (12-13, 6-8 ACC) fell behind 2-0 but took set three, but were edged by the Tar Heels (21-3, 10-3 ACC) in a heartbreaking fourth set. The match featured 31 tied scores and 16 lead changes, four in each set. 

Reigning ACC Freshman-of-the-Week Leah Perri recorded a career-high 16 kills and hit .412 for the match. Mo Simmons added 19 kills and 17 digs for her 30th career double-double and her third in the last four matches. Kristin Faust recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 10 kills and 20 digs. Nikki Collier added 16 digs while Irem Bayramoglu had 12. 

The Tigers recorded 10.0 blocks as a team after having season-low 2.0 against NC State on Thursday night. Karis Watson paced the Tigers with five blocks (three solo) while Hannah Brenner had four. 

The Tigers got off to a good start in set one pulling out to an early 11-10 lead. Clemson was unable to overcome the offense of UNC, though, as the Tar Heels hit .381 to Clemson’s .229 in the first set.

Set two featured runs from both teams. The Tigers held a 7-5 lead before the Tar Heels went on a 5-0 run to go up 10-7. Coming out of a timeout, Clemson rallied to take the next six points to take a 13-10 lead. Later in the set, with Clemson leading 17-15, the Tar Heels would go on a 10-2 run to close out the set, 25-19. 

Clemson responded in set three hitting .300 and taking seven of the final nine points in the set to win it 25-22. Perri had six kills on ten attempts and no errors in the third frame to hit .600, while Simmons added five kills and hit .312 in the set.

In fourth set, North Carolina got out to a 16-11 lead forcing a Clemson timeout. The Tigers would battle their way back in to the set before taking a 22-20 lead late. Following a UNC timeout, the Tar Heels would take the next two points before a kill by Simmons put the Tigers ahead 23-22. North Carolina would rally for the next three points to close out the set 25-23 and take the match.

The Tigers out hit the Tar Heels .265 to .214 in the final set and got eight kills and 11 digs from Simmons. 

North Carolina was led by Jovana Bjelica with 14 kills and 14 digs. Four other Tar Heels recorded double-figure kills, including Hayley McCorkle with 10 kills and a .421 hitting percentage. Ece Taner recorded a match-high 28 digs, most by opposing player against Clemson this season.

The Tigers will return to the court on Thursday when they travel to Atlanta, GA to take on Georgia Tech in the third of a four-match road stretch. 

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