WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Carrie DeMange threw down 25 kills to lead 13th-ranked Duke to a 3-1 (30-18, 30-32, 30-25, 30-26) victory over Wake Forest Tuesday evening in Reynolds Gymnasium.
DeMange ended the evening 25-for-63 attacking and recorded a double-double with a team-high 25 digs, marking the ninth consecutive match in which the senior middle blocker has doubled up on digs and kills.
Junior Sue Carls and Jourdan Norman joined DeMange in double digit kills, as Carls hammered 15 and Norman added 11. Norman also recorded a double-double with a season-high 11 blocks against Wake Forest, missing out on just two of the Blue Devils’ 13 total stops. Carls led all players with a .364 hitting percentage while Norman turned in a .333 clip.
Four Blue Devils reached or surpassed 20 digs, including DeMange, Ali Hausfeld (22), and Rachael Moss and Jenny Shull who each picked up 20. Hausfeld served up 57 assists as well and added two blocks, including the 300th of her four-year career.
Junior Natalie Mullikin led Wake Forest (7-10, 4-4 ACC) with 15 kills and 50 attacks while Kristen White added 14 kills and a .227 hitting percentage. Setter Kelsey Jones tossed up 49 assists while Megan Thornberry led the defense with 21 digs.
DeMange powered Duke (13-3, 8-0 ACC) to an early 1-0 lead following a seven-kill, nine-dig performance in the opening 30-18 game one victory. DeMange hit .462 in the opener on 13 attacks, while Carls was 5-of-10 attacking and Norman was 3-of-4 to guide Duke to a .333 hitting percentage in the frame. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils held Wake Forest to a .071 clip on the strength of three blocks – all of which involved Norman – and 25 total digs. After batting to an early 6-5 lead, Duke broke out to an eight-point advantage after four straight kills as part of an 11-3 run that forced a Demon Deacon timeout. Wake Forest managed to trade points and come within six, but the Blue Devils ran their lead to double digits and reached game point following a late 9-4 run.
Wake Forest overcame an eight-point deficit in game two to edge the Blue Devils for a 32-30 match-tying victory. DeMange turned in six more kills for Duke while Norman added four and a pair of blocks, but it was not enough to overcome the efforts of Mullikin and McIntyre, who combined for six kills and three blocks. Duke led by as much as eight points at 16-8 before Wake Forest got back on track with an 11-4 run to come within one. With the Deacs trailing 21-20, Norman began a 4-1 Blue Devil rally with three kills on Duke’s next four points. The Deacs would then call a timeout and bounce back with consecutive points before knotting the score at 27-27 on a 6-2 run. The Blue Devils responded by burning a timeout and reclaiming the lead with back-to-back points. The Demon Deacons followed suit, however, and notched consecutive points of their own to tie the score at 29-29. Wake Forest claimed the advantage after a four-hit error by Duke, but surrendered the lead on an attack error that ran the score to 30-30. A kill by Mullikin put Wake Forest back on top before the Demon Deacons completed the comeback after a Blue Devil attacking error.
Duke got back on track defensively in game three after holding Wake Forest to a .111 hitting percentage while recording five blocks. Norman accounted for three of the stops while DeMange hammered five kills and two service aces. Wake Forest held the momentum heading into game three and staked a 4-2 lead to open the frame. The teams traded points to 10-10 until the Blue Devils opened a 5-1 run to go ahead 15-11. Following a timeout, Wake Forest narrowed the deficit to one point before Duke posted another 5-1 run, but battled back once again to come within two points at 23-21. Duke held the slim advantage before jumping ahead by four at 28-25 and ending the game on back-to-back service aces from DeMange.
Duke’s block party continued into game four as the Blue Devils earned two of their first three points on blocks to stake a 3-1 lead. Back-to-back service aces by Moss would provide a 5-1 lead before the Demon Deacons cracked through the Blue Devil defense for their second point of the game. The Blue Devils began to run away with the game, however after a 6-3 run that put them ahead 14-8. Duke’s lead jumped to 18-10 after three consecutive points, including a service ace by Shull and kill by Brittany Staffeil. Wake Forest began to chip away at the lead with a 5-1 run following a timeout, but the Blue Devils called a timeout of their own and responded with three consecutive points to take back an eight-point advantage. Wake Forest would not go quietly however, and rattled off five consecutive points to come within three points at 26-23. Hausfeld broke the Wake Forest run by sneaking in a kill, and DeMange and Carls followed with one each to put Duke within one point of closing out the victory at 29-26. DeMange ended the match with her 25th kill of the evening.
The victory over Wake Forest signals the end of a five-game road slate for the Blue Devils, who will return to Cameron Indoor Stadium this Friday, Oct. 12 for a 7 p.m. contest against Georgia Tech. Duke will then welcome Clemson on Saturday, Oct. 13 for a 6 p.m. home meeting.