DURHAM, N.C. – The 21st-ranked Duke volleyball team jumped out to a 2-0 lead then held off High Point in the end to claim a 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 15-25, 25-23) victory in its second match of the 2014 Duke Invitational Friday evening in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
For the second time in as many matches, senior outside hitter Jeme Obeime led the Blue Devils in kills. Obeime knocked down a match-high 17, eclipsing her total of 16 from the season opener. Sophomore middle blocker Jordan Tucker also topped double-digit kills, adding 11 to help the Duke cause.
Duke (2-0) hit a comfortable .390 in its season opener against North Florida before facing a tougher challenge in its second match. The Blue Devils found a way to tough out the victory after struggling to find a rhythm and committing 24 errors.
“We really had to tough it out,” Obeime said. “It wasn’t our cleanest game. We just had to work really hard to try and finish them. We really want to take pride in protecting out home court. Once we knew we were going into a fourth, we said, ‘Make sure we don’t take it into a fifth.’ We had to get it done.”
The first set belonged to the Blue Devils, who built an early five-point lead and never looked back. Junior Breanna Atkinson totaled four kills to lead the way, followed by Obeime with three.
Set two mirrored the first as Duke manufactured a five-point advantage by the midway mark. Obeime added four kills in the second game, while freshman Cadie Bates chipped in with three.
Up 2-0, Duke ran into trouble in the third frame. High Point blazed out to a 13-8 cushion and ultimately took the set 25-15. Eight Duke attack errors contributed to the Panther lead. High Point also hit .542 in the third frame, totaling 14 kills and a single attack error.
The Blue Devils’ defense, which did not allow High Point to hit over .115 in any set except the third, returned to form in the fourth frame. Freshman defensive specialist Nicole Elattrache picked up six of her 10 digs in the final frame, while Jordan Tucker and Obeime combined for nine kills.
Sophomore libero Sasha Karelov also topped double-digit digs, totaling a team-high 11 for the match.
Chelsea Davis paced High Point, registering a double-double with 15 kills and 12 digs.
The Blue Devils conclude the 2014 Duke Invitational with a 3 p.m., match up against Furman Saturday in Cameron.