DURHAM, N.C. – Carrie DeMange turned in a match-high 16 kills and four blocks to lead No. 17 Duke to a 3-0 (30-22, 31-29, 30-26) victory over Virginia Tech Friday evening in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
DeMange connected on exactly half of her 32 attacks to finish with a team-leading .406 hitting percentage and picked up 10 digs for her 12th consecutive double-double. Rachael Moss also reached double figures with 12 kills, while Jourdan Norman added ten and three blocks.
Duke (15-4, 10-1 ACC) hammered 52 kills on the evening, 44 of which were served up by senior setter Ali Hausfeld. With 44 assists, Hausfeld, already leading the nation with a 14.27 assist per game average, became the first setter in the ACC to reach the 1,000 mark and stands atop the conference ranking with 1,013 to date.
The Blue Devil defense limited the Hokies (11-10, 5-6) to a .109 hitting percentage, the third-lowest clip of any of Duke’s opponents this season. Twenty digs from libero Jenny Shull paced the defensive effort, while Norman, Sue Carls and freshman Becci Burling were in on three of Duke’s 7.5 blocks.
Taylor Parrish led Virginia Tech with 15 kills and 34 attacks, while Kristen Cunningham, Felicia Willoughby and Betsy Horowitz each added three of the Hokies’ 10 blocks. Setter Michelle Lang tossed up 36 assists and collected three kills.
Duke opened the meeting with a .438 hitting percentage on the way to a 30-22 victory in game one. Norman posted five kills in the opener on six attacks, while Burling, DeMange and Moss added four apiece. An early 10-4 Duke lead supplied a big enough cushion for the Blue Devils to cruise to victory, but a 7-1 run by Duke upped the advantage to double digits at 17-7. Virginia Tech would cut the deficit back to six before the end of the game, but could not match Duke’s offensive effort.
Game two saw a more defensive-minded Virginia Tech squad, as the Hokies registered six blocks and limited Duke to a .130 clip. While the adjustments temporarily limited Duke’s effectiveness, DeMange and Moss came through with six kills each to clinch the 31-29 win. After falling behind by as much as three points at 8-5, Duke rebounded with a 7-3 run to take its first lead of game two at 12-10. The teams then traded points before locking in at 15-15 for the second of 17 tied scores in the game. Duke battled to a narrow 26-24 lead with game-point approaching, but the Hokies managed a rally to knot the game at 29-29. A Virginia Tech attack error would restore Duke’s advantage, however, before Moss clinched the game with her sixth kill of the evening.
Duke spread the ball around in game three, as seven Blue Devils recorded kills in the 30-26 win, including six more from DeMange. After battling for the first several points, the Blue eventually grasped a 6-5 lead and ran their advantage to seven points following a 5-2 run. The Hokies bounced back, however, and clawed their way to 23-23 tie. Duke could not break away from Virginia Tech until a 5-2 run, sprung by a pair of kills by DeMange, gave Duke a 28-25 lead. After an attack error by the Blue Devils put the Hokies back within two, Virginia Tech returned the point with a service error to set up the match-clinching kill for Burling.
“We were much more crisp and in system tonight,” head coach Jolene Nagel said. “We tried to get a little rest after that grueling 10-day span (that included five matches), and in addition to that, we broke a few things down and tried to work on what we wanted to accomplish. We really focused on blocking, serving tough and just being aggressive with every contact. I think we did a great job of that tonight, especially being aggressive throughout the match, communicating and maintaining our confidence when Virginia Tech put some pressure on us.”
Duke will return to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 20 to take on Virginia (13-7, 8-3 ACC) at 7 p.m. in the last of a four-match homestand. Virginia brings the third-best record in the ACC and one of the top hitters in Sarah Kirkwood, who trails DeMange for the conference lead in kills and points per game.