GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Following a season-opening victory against LIU Brooklyn Friday morning, the Duke volleyball team concluded day one of the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational with a 3-0 (25-10, 25-14, 25-15) win over the University of New Orleans. The Blue Devils overpowered the Privateers in the Friday evening contest, totaling 36 kills compared to just 12 for New Orleans.
Sophomore Breanna Atkinson led all players with nine kills while freshman Jordan Tucker continued her strong play with six kills and three blocks. Duke’s defense, which came up with 14 blocks, again kept its opponent under .100 hitting, limiting New Orleans to a -.078 clip.
“It was a complete team effort,” said head coach Jolene Nagel. “It took a lot of communication and focus for our team to adjust as we took a look a different lineups and gave different people opportunities. I thought that our senior leadership showed itself out there. In order to make all those adjustments and keep things running smoothly, they really held us together.”
Duke’s service game was on point against the Privateers as the Blue Devils registered 13 aces in the match. Seniors Chelsea Cook (4 kills, 2 blocks) and Ali McCurdy (12 digs) both tied career highs with three aces each.
“We served a lot better than we did this morning,” added Nagel. “We definitely wanted to come back strong on our serve and that was something we talked about.”
Duke (2-0) raced out to an early 10-2 lead en route to a 25-10 victory in the opening set. The Blue Devils were in complete control and did not allow a New Orleans (0-2) kill, holding the Privateers to -.471 hitting. Tucker paced the Blue Devil offense with five kills to start the match.
Much like the first set, Duke opened the second stanza with an commanding early lead. The Blue Devils jumped out 9-0 and ultimately captured the frame 25-14. Atkinson was Duke’s top target in the stanza, totaling five kills to go along with two aces.
The Blue Devils finished off the sweep with a decisive 25-15 final frame. Junior Brittney Balser chipped in with two kills and three blocks and freshman Alyse Whitaker totaled four kills and a pair of blocks to help Duke clinch the third set.
Duke wraps up the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational Saturday against No. 9 Florida. The Blue Devils and the Gators square off at 4 p.m., from the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
- Today’s match was the first meeting between Duke and New Orleans.
- Senior libero Ali McCurdy totaled 12 digs in tonight’s match, bring her career total to 1,968. She is 233 digs shy of breaking the program record.
- Sophomore outside hitter Breanna Atkinson’s two aces marked a career high.
- Freshman middle blocker Jordan Tucker leads Duke with 16 kills over the first two matches of the season. Tucker is also hitting a team-best .542