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VB: Duke secures outright ACC Championship

Posted November 29, 2013

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The 15th-ranked Duke volleyball team clinched the 2013 ACC Championship outright in dramatic fashion, rallying for a five-set (17-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23, 21-19) victory over No. 14 North Carolina Friday afternoon in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Down 2-1 overall, the Blue Devils faced a daunting seven-point deficit late in the fourth frame before rallying to send the match to a fifth stanza. The Tar Heels set up match point at 14-12 in the fifth before the Blue Devils again fought off defeat to earn the ACC’s automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Championship and remain undefeated at 15-0 on their home court.

“It’s awesome,” said senior Ali McCurdy, “It was a great overall team effort to be able to finish that fifth set point-for-point, back-and-forth between us and UNC. It was great to be able to come out on top and just shows the team effort that’s been consistent all year.”

Sophomore Elizabeth Campbell led all players with 17 kills while also picking up 18 digs in her fourth double-double of the year. Freshman Jordan Tucker turned in one of the best performances of her young career, amassing a career-high 16 kills to go along with six blocks. The Prairie Village, Kan., native was one of Duke’s most consistent targets, hitting .353 on the afternoon.

Sophomore Emily Sklar poured in her ninth double-double, racking up 14 kills and 12 digs, while junior Maggie Deichmeister tossed up 59 assists to go along with 17 digs, marking her ninth double-double of the season as well. Senior Chelsea Cook added seven kills to her team-leading seven block total, and junior Jeme Obeime was the fourth Blue Devil with 10 or more kills, adding 13.

McCurdy once again paced Duke’s defense, accumulating 28 digs to lead all players. Freshman Sasha Karelov added 14 to round out a contingent of five Blue Devils in double-digit digs.

“I couldn’t be more proud of them because I thought they just stuck together, kept trying to make plays,” said head coach Jolene Nagel. “I’m happy for our whole team because they’ve been a true team this year. [They] really pushed each other every single day, and yet supported each other, and I think that’s what got us through today. North Carolina played really well. They’re an excellent team. I feel very fortunate to be able to get out of here today with a win.”

North Carolina’s defense plagued Duke (27-4, 18-2 ACC) to start the match as the Tar Heels picked up the first set, 25-17. UNC posted a .297 hitting percentage to Duke’s .064 clip in the opening game.

Despite the early setback, Duke ground out a victory in the second game behind six kills from Campbell. Tied at 22-all, Campbell put down the kill to edge Duke ahead, and a pair of UNC errors ended the set.

Miscues haunted both squads in the third, but North Carolina utilized five Haley McCorkle kills to find a way to come out on top.

North Carolina (27-4, 16-4 ACC) appeared to have the match well in hand following a 25-22 win in the third and a 17-10 lead in the fourth. The Tar Heels’ advantage ballooned to 22-14, but the ever-resilient Blue Devils put together a 5-0 run, culminating in a Tucker kill. UNC countered with a Paige Neuenfedlt tally, but the Tar Heels would not register a point the rest of the way as Duke rattled off six straight to complete the comeback. Tucker and Campbell teamed up on the block to narrow the margin to one before Obeime and Tucker combined for Duke’s second straight stop to tie the score. Campbell finished off the rally, dropping two consecutive kills to tie the match at 2-2.

“Especially being down that much, it was important not to worry about the score,” McCurdy added. “We really just needed to play point-by-point … just forget the score and know it was going to take hard work. Everyone on the floor as well as our bench communicated and we were able to pull it off.”

Duke built a 12-10 lead in the final stanza before North Carolina set up match point with a 4-0 spurt. Undeterred, Campbell knocked down the kill and a UNC attack error knotted the score. The two rivals proceeded to trade blows over the next 10 points, resulting in a 19-19 stalemate deep in the fifth. Duke sealed it’s the win with a kill from Obeime followed by Campbell’s 17th of the afternoon.

The title marks the Blue Devils’ 11th conference crown in program history and first since 2010. Nagel has now guided the Blue Devils to four ACC titles – three outright (2006, 2010, 2013) and one co-championship (2008) – during her 15 years in Durham.

The complete, 64-team field for the 2013 NCAA Volleyball Championships will be announced live on ESPNU Sunday, Dec. 1 at 9:30 p.m.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
Final
SAC 107
MIL 108
Final
GSW 114
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
UTA
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
POR
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
Final
EVAN 81
OHIO 69
 
Final
CSFU 72
CSDH 50
 
Final
ORST 90
DEP 59
Final
PAC 69
NEV 65
Final
USF 77
PORST 40
 
Final
IDAHO 86
WALLA 39
 
Final
UTST 57
CALST 56
 
1:30pm Today
YOUNG
WILB
 
2:00pm Today
TULA
JST
 
6:00pm Tonight
RAD
SIENA
 
7:00pm Tonight
MERC
COOK
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUCK
CASEWEST
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
CPNC
 
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
CLEM
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
CONC
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
EKENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWEBB
HIWASSEE
 
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
MDES
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NIAG
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NCAT
 
7:00pm Tonight
FAM
UNF
 
7:00pm Tonight
NORST
NARZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
DART
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
MORE
NKENTUCKY
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCSB
SDCHR
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJ
GAELS
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALA
STILL
 
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HAMP
TENST
 
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TENN
TENT
 
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WMARY
WSHMD
 
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FLGC
FUR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CALST
SDKST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MTST
CHAT
 
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NDAK
DICKINSON
 
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LAMON
LSUALEX
 
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PRIN
LIP
 
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LAM
MLGN
 
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MINN
SEAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
SUTAH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
WINT
 
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
NO
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
ALAAM
 
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TTU
ARKPB
 
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DEN
COLST
 
9:00pm Tonight
CREI
TXPA
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EWASH
 
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UTST
IDST
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
 
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
Final
SJS 4
EDM 3
Final
LOS 6
STL 4
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
NYI
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
BOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
DAL
 
Final
JAC 21
TEN 13