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VB: Blue Devils Win Two at Duke Invitational

Posted August 30

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— The 21st-ranked Duke volleyball team started off the season with a pair of victories Friday in Cameron Indoor Stadium, defeating North Florida 3-0 (25-22, 25-10, 25-19) before downing High Point 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 15-25, 25-23) on the first day of the Duke Invitational.

Duke (2-0) followed a slow start in set one against North Florida with dominating performances in the final two frames. Senior outside hitter Jeme Obeime pounded a match-high 16 kills to pace a potent Duke offensive attack. Obeime hit a scalding .583 over the course of the match, committing just two errors on 24 attempts. The sophomore middle blocker duo of Alyse Whitaker and Jordan Tucker combined for 20 kills as both Blue Devils hit over .500 as well. Whitaker tallied a career-best 11 kills, while Tucker added nine.

Sophomore libero Sasha Karelov led all players with 12 digs. All three Duke setters saw time with senior Maggie Deichmeister collecting a match-high 32 assists.

The Blue Devils faced a tougher challenge in its second match. Duke was able to hold off High Point in the end, capturing the four-set win. Obeime led the Blue Devils in kills for the second time in as many matches, knocking down a match-high 17.

Duke hit .390 in its season-opening win against North Florida, but the Blue Devils struggled to maintain a consistent rhythm in their second match of the day, committing 24 attack errors.

Up 2-0, Duke ran into trouble in the third frame. High Point blazed out to a 13-8 cushion and ultimately took the set 25-15. Eight Duke attack errors contributed to the Panther lead. High Point also hit .542 in the third frame, totaling 14 kills and a single attack error.

The Blue Devils’ defense, which did not allow High Point to hit over .115 in any set except the third, returned to form in the fourth frame. Freshman defensive specialist Nicole Elattrache picked up six of her 10 digs in the final frame, while Tucker and Obeime combined for nine kills.

Along with Elattrache, Karelov also topped double-digit digs, totaling a team-high 11 for the match.

Chelsea Davis paced High Point, registering a double-double with 15 kills and 12 digs.

The Blue Devils conclude the 2014 Duke Invitational with a 3 p.m., match up against Furman Saturday in Cameron.

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