Rochester, NY – Though the last set against RIT clinched the Liberty League regular season title for the Clarkson University Volleyball team, the Golden Knights showed why they are considered the premier team in the conference with a record-setting performance in the first set against the Tigers, as the Green and Gold beat both Skidmore and RIT in conference action Friday evening.
The Knights, who improved to 26-6 overall and 11-0 in conference matches, came into the weekend needing only a win over Union on Saturday to clinch the conference, but Clarkson decided to remove all doubt with a sweep on Friday over the Thoroughbreds (25-17, 25-10, 25-21) and another against the Tigers (25-2, 25-12, 25-13).
Clarkson has now won 25 straight sets with eight straight sweeps, including three more in conference play. The Knights have gone 33-1 in sets against Liberty League foes.
Allowing only two points in set number-one against RIT was the most impressive feat of the season for the Golden Knights, breaking the program single-set record for margin of victory during the 25-point, rally-scoring era. The previous beset for Clarkson was when the Knights allowed Bard to score just three points during the 2011 season.
Versus Skidmore, the Knights set an impressive offensive tone in the first two sets, recording 28 kills with only three errors to hit .342. The Thoroughbreds were able to rally in the final set thanks to nine hitting errors by the Knights, but Clarkson still ended with the sweep. Senior Xiao Liang (Tianjin, China) continued her strong run in conference matches by striking for nine kills and no errors in 16 swings (.562) while Victoria Kirkemo (Englewood, CO) led the squad with 12 kills. Clarkson also continued a strong serving run with 13 aces, including three each by Kirkemo, Kirstie Shurie (LaCanada, CA) and Erika Chin (Katy, TX). Chin also had 20 digs, while Lani Durio (Austin, TX) had 33 assists. Junior Adrienne Walker (Centennial, CO) also had five total blocks, with one solo and four assists.
Liang finished the day hitting over .500 with another dominating effort against RIT, hitting 11 kills with only one error in 21 swings (.476) while adding in three blocks, including two solo efforts. Durio ran the offense with 25 assists and Chin tossed in 13 digs. Kirkemo produced eight kills and added four aces to her season total.