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VB: No. 13 Duke Earns Straight Set Win at Miami

Posted November 22, 2013

Looking to retain its lead in the ACC standings, the 13th-ranked Duke volleyball team capitalized on a balanced team effort to top Miami 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-13) Friday evening at the Knight Complex.

Outside hitters Jeme Obeime and Emily Sklar powered a Blue Devil offense which dropped 48 kills over the three stanzas. Obeime knocked down 13 kills without committing an attack error, while Sklar also added 13 kills and 13 digs for her third straight double-double.

Junior setter Maggie Deichmeister coordinated the Duke (25-3, 16-1 ACC) offensive effort, guiding the Blue Devils to a .389 hitting percentage while dishing out 37 assists. Middle blockers Chelsea Cook and Jordan Tucker also got in on the action, registering nine and seven kills, respectively.

Not to be overlooked, Duke’s defense picked up 71 digs compared to 54 for the Hurricanes, limiting Miami (16-11, 9-8 ACC) to a .173 clip for the match. Senior libero Ali McCurdy added 20 digs, sophomore Elizabeth Campbell contributed 14 and freshman Sasha Karelov chipped in with 10.

“What a great team effort to be able to come down here and get this math in three,” said head coach Jolene Nagel. “Miami played good defense, and the first two sets were very, very tight. We did a lot of things well tonight. We served well, we blocked, we dug a lot of balls and we had few hitting errors. For our offense to only have eight hitting errors the entire match is pretty exciting.”

Duke jumped out to an early lead, withstood a furious Miami rally and ultimately took set one, 25-21. Cook and Obeime dropped six kills apiece while neither Blue Devil committed an attack error in the opening set to pace the offense. Up 11-4, Duke saw its advantage shrink to a point at 18-17. A Cook kill and Sklar service ace gave Duke some breathing room, and Obeime dropped three of her kills over the final few points to secure the 1-0 Duke lead.

The two squads battled back and forth to begin the second game until Duke was able to pull away late. The Blue Devils trailed 17-16 before rallying 9-2 to close out the frame. Deichmeister put down a pair of kills to put Duke on top, and Sklar knocked down the kill after a long rally to swing the momentum in Duke’s favor. Up 21-91, Duke received two kills and a block assist from Tucker to help finish off the stanza.

After two tough sets to open the match, Duke was not to be stopped in the third frame. The Blue Devils totaled 14 kills without committing an attack error and utilized 4.0 blocks to limit the Hurricanes to a .053 hitting percentage. Tied at 4-4, a 5-0 run, ignited by a pair of blocks and a Cook kill, gave Duke control of the set. The Blue Devils cruised to the 25-13 victory to clinch their 25th win of the season.

Outside Misty Ma’A paced the Hurricanes with nine kills followed by Savannah Leaf with eight. Libero Ryan Shaffer picked up 22 digs to lead all players.

Duke faces another road test this Sunday, traveling to No. 19 Florida State for a 1 p.m. tilt at Tully Gym.

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