DURHAM, N.C. – Fresh off a 3-0 weekend at the Duke Invitational, the Duke volleyball team faces a tough test as the Blue Devils play host to Big Ten opponents Indiana and No. 16 Illinois this weekend at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke takes on Indiana Friday, Sept. 20 before facing Illinois Saturday. Both matches are set for 6:30 p.m. starts.
Lives stats for each contest are available through GoDuke.com, while the Blue Devil Network will stream live video of Saturday’s match.
The Blue Devils improved to 7-2 on the young season following this past weekend’s wins over Liberty, Utah State and South Carolina at the Duke Invitational. Duke’s two losses on the season have come against top 10 teams in No. 4 Florida and No. 9 Minnesota.
Duke currently leads the ACC in kills per set, knocking down 15.29 per game. Sophomore Emily Sklar and junior Jeme Obeime are tops on the Blue Devils’ roster with 92 and 87 kills, respectively. Friday’s match is a reunion of sorts for Obeime, a Carmel, Ind., native whose sister, Ivie Obeime, played volleyball at Indiana from 2009-11.
Senior Ali McCurdy is once again leading Duke in digs with 122 on the year. McCurdy currently sits at 2,067 career digs, 133 shy of the school career record (Jenny Shull – 2,200). The co-captain from Tampa, Fla., also paces Duke with nine service aces.
Indiana picked up three wins at the Hoosier Classic, defeating Wyoming, Tennessee State and UAB, to bring its overall record to 8-1 on the season. The Hoosier offense boasts a .301 team hitting percentage, a mark which ranks 14th nationally. Indiana also leads the Big Ten and ranks 12th nationally, averaging 1.87 service aces per set.
Junior Morgan Leach leads the Hoosiers with 91 kills, while sophomore Awele Nwaeze is tops on the squad in hitting percentage (.394), service aces (10) and blocks (26).
Indiana holds the 2-0 advantage in the all-time series against Duke. The two teams met in a home-and-home series during the 1999 and 2000 seasons with Indiana winning both contests, 3-0.
The 16th-ranked Fighting Illini take the court against North Carolina Friday evening before Saturday’s matchup against the Blue Devils. Illinois is 4-4 in 2013, however, three of the Illini’s four losses have come at the hands of top 15 teams. Illinois went 1-2 at this past weekend’s Illini Classic, defeating Arizona State, 3-2, before suffering losses to No. 6 Washington and No. 2 Texas.
Duke has faced Illinois just once in program history, falling 3-0 to the then-No. 7 Illini in Durham Oct. 12, 1989.
Redshirt sophomore Jocelynn Birks owns a team-high 139 kills, averaging 4.21 per set, while junior Liz McMahon is second on the squad with 103. Illinois is one of the national leaders in blocks in large part to redshirt freshmen Maddie Mayers, who ranks fifth in the country with a 1.61 block per set average.
Duke opens its ACC schedule next weekend, welcoming Virginia and Virginia Tech to Cameron Indoor Stadium Friday and Saturday.