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VB: Duke tops Georgia Tech in four

Posted November 15, 2012

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— The Blue Devils hit .329 with three players in double-digit kills as the Duke volleyball team defeated Georgia Tech 3-1 (25-23, 25-20, 19-25, 25-22) Thursday evening at O’Keefe Gym.

“We really hung tough tonight,” said head coach Jolene Nagel. “We executed and cut down on our lapses. It was a team effort. Our team did a good job of understanding their opponent. Everywhere from the defense to the serve receive to our setter making good decisions, everybody executed their part of the plan.”

Freshman Elizabeth Campbell led the Blue Devils (15-15, 6-12 ACC) with 18 kills on the night. Thursday’s contest marked the fifth-straight in which Campbell has led the team in kills as the rookie from Parker, Colo., has posted double-digit kills in six straight matches.

Sophomore Jeme Obeime finished the match with 16 kills, while senior Christiana Gray amassed 11 kills and four blocks. Sophomore Kelsey Williams totaled 51 assists and 12 digs for her seventh double-double of the year. Williams also had a double-double last time out with 44 assists and 21 digs against Miami.

Georgia Tech’s Monique Mead totaled 22 kills to lead the Yellow Jackets (18-11, 9-9 ACC), while Bailey Hunter added 11 kills.

Duke got off to a slow start in the first set and trailed Georgia Tech 17-11 after a Jennifer Percy kill. A 7-4 Blue Devil spurt forced a Georgia Tech timeout with the Yellow Jacket lead trimmed to 21-18. A pair of Campbell kills and an ace from Emily Sklar tied the score at 22-22, and Duke finished off the set four points later. Campbell registered her eighth kill of the set, Chelsea Cook picked up an ace and Obeime and Gray teamed up for a block to seal the victory.

“We started off a little rough with our serve receive and we were tentative on defense,” said Nagel. “Georgia Tech was more aggressive than we were. Our team was able to regain its composure and started to control the serve receive better. Our team kept fighting. They didn’t give up and Georgia Tech started to make a few errors. I’m proud that we could be down at an away site and still be able to get the W in the first set. That was a crucial set.”

The Blue Devils again trailed early in set two, but rallied for a 12-11 advantage after a pair of Gray kills. After reaching a 16-16 tie, Duke scored the next three points and did not relinquish the lead the rest of the way. The Blue Devils hit .353 for the set while limiting Georgia Tech to .147. Gray paced the offense with five kills on six errorless attempts in addition to two blocks.

After trading points to reach a 13-13 tie, Georgia Tech pulled away with a 5-1 rally and would ultimately capture the third frame. Georgia Tech outhit Duke .531 to .188 in set three to cut the Blue Devils’ overall advantage to 2-1.

Duke found itself down 14-11 in the fourth set before a 5-0 run, keyed by two Obeime kills, swung the momentum in the Blue Devils’ favor. The Yellow Jackets were unable to recover and the Blue Devils sealed the victory on Gray’s 11th kill of the match.

The Blue Devils face Clemson Friday, November 16 at 7 p.m., in Jervey Gym before heading to Winston-Salem to close out the regular season with a 7 p.m., match Tuesday, November 20 at Wake Forest.

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