DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke volleyball team extended its current winning streak to nine matches as the Blue Devils defeated in-state rival Wake Forest 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-19) Sunday afternoon in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke’s nine-match winning streak is its longest since posting nine-straight victories from Sept. 18 to Oct. 12, 2007.
Three Blue Devils – senior Chelsea Cook, sophomore Emily Sklar and junior Jeme Obeime – registered double-digit kills against the Demon Deacons. Sklar put down a match-high 17 kills, knocking down 10 or more kills for the seventh-straight match and 12th time this season. Obeime added 15 while Cook chipped in with 11 kills and four blocks.
Duke (13-2, 4-0 ACC) nearly doubled Wake Forest’s kill total, amassing 53 to 27 for the Demon Deacons. The Blue Devil defense limited Wake Forest (13-3, 1-3 ACC) to a .090 hitting percentage as three Duke players picked up double-digit digs. Sophomore Elizabeth Campbell led the way with a season-high 18 digs, followed by senior Ali McCurdy with 17 and freshman Sasha Karelov with 11.
Junior setter Maggie Deichmeister was a dig shy of her sixth double-double of the season, totaling 48 assists, nine digs and two blocks on the afternoon.
“[We’re] happy to get this win at home and happy to get it done in three,” said head coach Jolene Nagel. “Wake Forest always fights hard. I was happy our team was able to hang tough and not let too many points get away from us. [Wake Forest is] a good defensive team, they’re a scrappy team and they fight really hard. I was pleased to see our team be able to stop some of their runs.”
Back-to-back Deichmeister, Cook blocks gave Duke an 8-5 lead to start the match. Duke would not trail in the opening frame, ultimately taking the game, 25-16. The Blue Devils hit. 353 to .037 for Wake Forest, while Sklar put down eight kills without committing an attack error.
Duke rallied from an early four-point deficit to take the second set, 25-22. Down 7-3, The Blue Devils utilized a 12-3 spurt to emerge with a 15-10 advantage at the midway point. With Duke up 23-18 late, Wake Forest fought back with a 4-1 run of its own, but Obeime clinched the victory with her ninth kill of the match, putting Duke on top 2-0.
In the third game, the Blue Devils bolted out to a 7-1 lead and maintained their control the rest of the stanza, taking the final frame, 25-19. Obeime had six kills in the third set and Cook contributed four to help the Duke cause.
“We talked about how we really needed to pick it up,” Obeime said. “We play Wake Forest a lot and they have a lot of fight. They just came off of a five-set comeback their last match. We knew they would come back strong, so we knew we had to do our jobs and end it.”
Senior Kylie Hargreaves and sophomore Matalee Reed paced the Demon Deacons with eight and seven kills, respectively. Reed also had a team-high 12 digs, while Hargreaves and freshman Sophia Dodd had 10 each.
A tough test awaits the Blue Devils next weekend as Duke travels to No. 11 North Carolina and NC State. Duke squares off with UNC Friday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m., then takes the court against NC State Sunday, Oct. 13 at 2 p.m.