GREENSBORO, N.C. – For the fourth and final time in her collegiate career, Leah Perri has been named to the ACC’s Academic All-Conference team. She is one of 35 student-athletes across the conference to make the list, however she is the only student-athlete to be named to the list all four years. Natalie Patzin (09-12) is the only other four-time recipient in program history.
The honor is the seventh of her career as she will graduate from Clemson as a four-time Academic All-Conference honoree, a Second Team All-Conference and Preseason All-Conference selection in 2016 and a member of the ACC All-Freshman team in 2013.
"This award for Leah is just another acknowledgment of everything that Leah is and everything she has earned in her time here at Clemson,” said head coach Hugh Hernesman. “I love that this is an award that is based both on academics and what was accomplished as a player on the floor because that is who Leah truly is: a very well-balanced student-athlete. Leah has been the model team member in the classroom and on the floor. For her to be the only one on this list to earn this honor all four years reflects so positively on her and sets a very high standard for our program for years to come."
Perri finishes her time at Clemson as one of the best to ever put on the Tiger uniform. With 1,483 kills on 4,359 attempts in her collegiate career, she is 10th on Clemson’s all-time list of career kill leaders with the fourth most attempts recorded in program history. The total is just 10 shy of the ninth most kills in Clemson history as Sandra Adeleye earned 1,493 from 2009-12. After recording career-best totals in kills (412), kills per set (3.68), digs (213) and aces (17) as a junior, Perri set career bests in kills (418), digs (273) and aces (23) while committing 30 fewer attack errors as a senior.
The two remarkable campaigns give her 400-plus kills and 200-plus digs in each of the last two seasons and 300 kills or more in all four of her years competing as a student-athlete. She’s one-of-six ACC student-athletes in 2016 to earn 400 kills and 200 digs in 2016 and is just one-of-three ACC student-athletes to hit the mark each of the last two seasons. She became one of the ACC’s best six-rotation players as a junior despite never playing in the back row as a freshman or sophomore.
Over the course of four seasons Perri did not miss a single match, killing 10 balls or more in 81-of-127 matches with 474 sets played to her credit, giving her a career 3.13 kills per set average. She has 20 kills or more in 13 matches, 10 of which came in the last two seasons along with her 15 double-doubles.
Of the 127 matches she competed in, two stand out, both of which came in the last two seasons. In 2015, Perri put the Tigers on her back to defeat Georgia Tech in Atlanta for the first time since 2011 with 20 kills, two aces, two solo blocks and 19 digs to her credit. In the midst of Clemson’s 3-1 victory over the Yellow Jackets, it was that match in which Perri earned her 1,000th career kill. For Perri’s best offensive performance, fast-forward to 2016 when she torched South Carolina for a career-best 26 kills on 52 swings with just three errors, giving her a .442 hitting percentage in four sets against the Gamecocks. The total is tied for the most kills in a four-set match by an ACC student-athlete.