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VB: Duke clinches share of 2013 ACC Championship

Posted November 27, 2013

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Behind a stellar performance from senior libero Ali McCurdy, the 15th-ranked Duke volleyball team clinched a share of the 2013 ACC Championship Wednesday afternoon, defeating NC State 3-1 (25-20, 25-14, 20-25, 25-18) in Cameron Indoor Stadium. With a one game lead over both North Carolina and Florida State heading into the season finale, Duke has the opportunity to win the league title outright Friday against the Tar Heels.

In her penultimate regular season home match, McCurdy did not disappoint as the Tampa, Fla., native anchored a solid defensive outing by the Blue Devils. McCurdy matched her career high with an astounding 37 digs, extending her ACC-record career total to 2,463. Duke (26-4, 17-2 ACC) also received a career-high-tying seven blocks from freshman middle blocker Jordan Tucker to help hold the NC State (20-11, 11-8 ACC) offense in check for much of the match.

“We’re really happy we got this win today,” said head coach Jolene Nagel. “NC State plays tremendous defense. They keep the ball alive forever, they keep coming at you and they’re a great team. [NC State] has a lot of great hitters, so I was pleased with how our team executed on the block and on defense.”

McCurdy was not the only Blue Devil standout on the day as sophomore outside Emily Sklar added her eighth double-double of the season with a career-high 21 kills and season-high 19 digs. In addition, setter Maggie Deichmeister notched her eighth double-double with a 49-assist, 10-dig outing and rightside hitter Elizabeth Campbell hit .400 with 14 kills, nine digs and four blocks.

Looking to avenge an Oct. 13 loss in Raleigh, the Blue Devils never trailed in the first set and stormed out to an 11-7 advantage. NC State chipped away at the margin and tied the frame at 16-all before Duke took command with a 4-0 spurt. NC State would come no closer than three the rest of the way, and Duke iced the frame with a Sklar kill. Duke’s defense was on point in the first set, holding the Wolfpack to .043 hitting behind 10 digs each from McCurdy and Sklar.

The Duke attack knocked down 15 kills with just two attack errors in the second game to earn the victory in dominating fashion, 25-14. Hitters Jeme Obeime, Campbell and Sklar contributed four kills each to pace a balanced offensive front. One of three Blue Devils in double-digit kills, Obeime would end the day with 11 overall.

Costly errors proved to be the difference in the third stanza, a 25-20 decision for NC State. Duke led 17-15 following a Sklar kill before the Wolfpack closed out the frame on a 10-3 run, aided by four kills from outside hitter Rachel Buckley and four Blue Devil errors.

Errors seemed to haunt Duke again as back-to-back miscues tied the fourth-set score at 9-9. Undaunted, the Blue Devils regained their composure and rallied with an 8-4 streak capped by Sklar’s 22nd service ace of the season. Duke kept the Wolfpack at bay the rest of the way and finished off the victory with three Sklar kills to improve to 14-0 at home.

Buckley led all NC State players with 11 kills, while middle Brie Merriwether added 10. Freshman libero Rachel Eppley paced a quartet of Wolfpack players in double-digit digs, picking up 15.

With the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on the line, Duke plays its final regular season match Friday, Nov. 29 at 3 p.m. against No. 14 North Carolina in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

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Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
 
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
 
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
 
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
 
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
 
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
 
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
 
4th
WAKE 3
BC 23
 
4th
BUF 14
CMICH 14
 
3rd
MARS 21
FATL 16
 
4th
PITT 21
GT 35
 
3rd
SMISS 10
LATU 17
 
3rd
MSU 28
MICH 3
 
3rd
KENT 17
MSST 24
 
4th
STAN 35
ORST 7
 
3rd
TCU 40
TTU 20
 
4th
OKST 10
WVU 17
 
3rd
WKENT 42
ODU 30
 
3rd
UTST 17
UNLV 13
 
3rd
MIZZ 10
VANDY 7
 
2nd
UCF 17
TEMPL 7
 
6:00pm Tonight
WASU
ARZ
7:00pm Tonight
CLEM
SYR
7:00pm Tonight
LAMON
TXST
7:00pm Tonight
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COLST
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7:15pm Tonight
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7:30pm Tonight
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PSU
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10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
3rd
SJS 1
BUF 2
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
DAL
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PHI
DET
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
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CHI
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NAS
PIT
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MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14