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Duke Volleyball: 2013 Season in Review
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 01/06/2014
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Blue Devils Make 18th NCAA Tournament Appearance
Duke (28-5, 18-2 ACC) made its ACC-leading 18th NCAA Tournament appearance in program history in 2013, and 11th under head coach Jolene Nagel ... The Blue Devils earned the No. 16 national seed, hosting the opening rounds of the tournament for the fifth time in program history ... 2013 also marked the second time in program history that Duke earned a national seed. The Blue Devils previously garnered the No. 12 overall seed in 2006.
Duke Wins ACC Crown
Duke clinched the 2013 ACC Championship and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in thrilling fashion, rallying for a 3-2 decision over then-No. 14 North Carolina in the regular season finale to avoid a three-way tie with UNC and Florida State for the conference crown ... The victory over the Tar Heels sealed the Blue Devils’ outright claim on the ACC title as the team finished the conference slate 18-2 ... Duke has won 11 ACC Championships in program history, including four over the past eight seasons ... Nagel has guided Duke to four ACC crowns – three outright (2006, 2010, 2013) and on co-championship (2008) – during her 15 years in Durham.
Duke in the ACC
The Blue Devils finished the 2013 season with an 18-2 ACC record, bolstering their all-time league mark to 311-137 (.694). Duke is the ACC’s winningest program in terms of conference victories and winning percentage ... Duke is also the first ACC program to top 300 conference wins ... Over the past 10 seasons, the Blue Devils have posted just one losing conference record.
Home Court Advantage
The Blue Devils enjoyed great success in Cameron Indoor Stadium, finishing the 2013 campaign with a 16-1 mark on their home court ... The 16 home wins are the most since the Blue Devils won 17 contests in Cameron during the 1993 season ... The Blue Devils boast a 166-31 home record since 2000, which includes a 38-match winning streak from 2004-07.
Against Ranked Teams
Duke went 4-3 this season when facing teams ranked in the top 25 of the AVCA Coaches Poll ...  The Blue Devils recorded victories over No. 16 Illinois, No. 10 North Carolina, No. 18 Florida State and No. 14 North Carolina ... Three of Duke’s five losses came at the hands of top 20 teams in No. 4 Minnesota, No. 9 Florida and No. 19 Florida State ... The four victories over ranked teams are the most by a Duke squad in school history ... From 2006-12, Duke played 27 matches against ranked opponents, posting a 3-24 record in that span.
Sustained Success
Duke is no stranger to success, winning 20 or more matches 25 times in its 43 seasons of volleyball, including a 28-5 mark in 2013 ... The Blue Devils have topped 20 wins in eight of the past nine seasons and have won 25 or more matches in six of the pat eight campaigns ... In 15 seasons under Nagel’s direction, Duke has won 20 or more matches 12 times and 25-plus contests six times.
Duke’s Balanced Offense
The Blue Devils featured one of the nation’s top offenses as Duke led the ACC and ranked ninth nationally in both kills per set and assists per set ... Duke utilized a balanced attack with five players totaling over 200 kills ... 2013 marked the eighth consecutive season in which Duke had at least four players with 200 or more kills ... Sophomore outside hitter Emily Sklar led the way with 405 kills, followed by junior outside Jeme Obeime (376), sophomore rightside Elizabeth Campbell (304), senior middle blocker Chelsea Cook (256) and freshman middle Jordan Tucker (222) ... Duke had six different players register 15 or more kills in a single match, while two Blue Devils topped the 20-kill plateau.
McCurdy Rewrites Record Books
Senior libero Ali McCurdy wrapped up her distinguished career with yet another sensational season, garnering AVCA All-East Coast Region, ACC Defensive Player of the Year and All-ACC honors ... Already the first ACC student-athlete to win consecutive league individual volleyball awards, she became the first to win an ACC individual honor in three straight campaigns ... McCurdy totaled a team-leading 593 digs on the season and paced all ACC players with a 5.20 digs per set average ... The Tampa, Fla., native ended her career with a streak of 59 straight matches with 10 or more digs, picking up 20-plus in each of her final four contests ... McCurdy ended her four years at Duke with an ACC record 2,538 career digs. She became the 12th player in NCAA history to reach 2,500 career digs ... She is the lone Blue Devil to register 500 or more digs in each of her four seasons and the only player in school history to average over 5.00 digs per set for a career.
Sklar Earns AVCA Third Team All-America Honors
Sophomore outside hitter Emily Sklar earned third team AVCA All-America honors, while junior setter Maggie Deichmeister, senior libero Ali McCurdy and junior outside hitter Jeme Obeime garnered honorable mention All-America accolades ... Sklar is the third Duke player to earn a spot on the first, second or third team, and the first since Kellie Catanach earned third team distinction following the 2010 season ... In total, 16 Duke players have received AVCA All-America recognition since 2004.
Sklar Named ACC Player of the Year
Sophomore outside hitter Emily Sklar was named ACC Player of the Year after helping Duke to its 11 ACC Championship and 18th NCAA Tournament appearance ... Sklar is the only sophomore in Duke history, and eighth player overall, to take home ACC Player of the Year honors ... She led the team with 405 kills, and averaged 3.89 to rank second in the league. Sklar is the first Duke player to knock down over 400 kills in a single season since Rachel Moss in 2008 ... In conference matches, Sklar was one of just three ACC players to average over 4.00 kills per frame, ending the regular season at a 4.09 clip ... She put down 10 or more kills in 26 contests, including 23 straight to end the season ... Sklar also tied for the team lead with 10 double-doubles and finished the campaign with 222 digs.
Six Blue Devils Earn All-ACC Honors
Duke tied the school record with five players selected to All-ACC teams in 2013. The Blue Devils also placed five players on the all-league squad in 2010 ... Led by ACC Player of the Year Emily Sklar and ACC Defensive Player of the Year Ali McCurdy, five of Duke’s seven starters made the team, including middle blocker Chelsea Cook, outside hitter Jeme Obeime and setter Maggie Deichmeister ... Middle blocker Jordan Tucker picked up All-ACC Freshman team honors as well ... Three-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year McCurdy pulled in her fourth All-ACC nod, while Cook, Deichmeister, Obeime and Sklar all received their first career all-conference nod.
Nagel Tabbed ACC and AVCA All-East Region Coach of the Year
Head coach Jolene Nagel, in conjunction with associate head coach John Wasielewski and assistant coach Cristina Pintilie, pulled in a fourth ACC Coach of the Year accolade (2001, 2006, 2010, 2013) this season ... Nagel also garnered AVCA All-Region Coach of the Year honors for the fifth time in her career ... Nagel is in her 15th season at Duke, leading the program to a 327-142 record during that time ... She owns a 534-282 record over a 25-year career, which includes head coaching stints at Cornell, Georgetown and Duke ... With 332 victories as a Blue Devil, Nagel is Duke’s all-time wins leader, surpassing the mark previously held by Jon Wilson (301).
Four Duke Players Earn AVCA All-East Coast Region Honors
Along with Nagel’s region coach of the year honors, four Duke players – Maggie Deichmeister, Ali McCurdy, Jeme Obeime and Emily Sklar – earned AVCA All-East Coast Region awards ... Duke’s four selections tie for the most in school history, matching the total from the 2010, 2007 and 1993 campaigns ... Deichmeister, Obeime and Sklar all garnered the accolade for the first time in their career while McCurdy made her third appearance on the all-region team ... Duke was the only ACC team and one of 10 programs nationally to place four or more players on a regional squad, joining Texas (6), Florida (5), Penn State (5), Kansas (4), Michigan (4), Missouri (4), Nebraska (4), Southern Cal (4) and Stanford (4).