COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Duke senior Jenny Shull picked up her 2,000th career dig as the 14th-ranked Duke volleyball team earned a 3-1 (30-25, 30-27, 25-30, 30-28) victory over Maryland Sunday afternoon at Comcast Center Pavilion.
Shull became only the third player in the history of the ACC to reach the 2,000-dig plateau and moved to second place on the all-time list. The senior libero leads Duke with 455 digs this season and is on pace for her third consecutive season with 600 or more digs, a feat that no other Blue Devil in school history has accomplished.
Senior middle blocker Carrie DeMange led Duke (18-4, 13-1 ACC) with 22 kills and picked up 13 digs to record her 15th consecutive double-double. Rachael Moss contributed 17 kills and 11 digs, while Jourdan Norman also reached double figures with 12 kills in addition to her eight blocks. Senior setter Ali Hausfeld served up 55 assists and threw down eight kills on 14 errorless attacks. Hausfeld has committed only one attack error in Duke’s last four matches and compiled a .636 hitting percentage and 14 kills in two matches over the weekend.
Jade Brown paced Maryland (14-9, 6-8 ACC) with 17 kills, while Katie Usher knocked down nine of the Terps’ 16.5 blocks. Maryland, which leads the ACC in blocks per game, received stops at the net from seven different players, including Meredith Doyle, who had six, and Beth Gillming, who had five. Both Gillming and Doyle also reached double figures with 14 kills each.
Game one saw a heated battle, as Duke and Maryland exchanged leads six times after locking in at tied scores 13 different times. A nine-kill outing from Moss would be the difference for the Blue Devils, however, as Duke held out for a 30-25 victory. Moss turned in a 9-for-13 attacking performance in the opener without committing a single error as Duke racked up a .326 hitting percentage. Duke held a three-point lead early at 5-2, but could not shake the Terps until breaking a 22-22 tie with five consecutive points. Leading 27-22, Maryland finally broke the scoring run, but two kills from Sue Carls and a service ace from Shull sealed the opening victory.
Hausfeld came on strong for Duke in game two with five kills on six attacks and 13 assists. Hausfeld spread the ball around as five different Blue Devils recorded multiple kills, including DeMange, who had six. Maryland hung with Duke for the entire game after knocking down 6.5 blocks and improving to a .286 hitting percentage. A temporary five-point Blue Devil lead at 19-14 was the largest lead of the game, but the Terps would quickly erase it and reclaim a 24-22 lead. Duke battled back with four straight points to reclaim the lead and took advantage of three consecutive Maryland attacking errors to clinch the 30-27 victory.
Maryland fought off defeat with a 30-25 win in game three. The Terps jumped out to a 16-8 lead and held at least a three-point advantage for the remainder of the game. Gillming turned in four kills while Doyle added three and a pair of blocks.
Duke got back on track in game four, however, and rallied late for a 30-28 match-clinching victory. Despite trailing late at 25-23, the Blue Devils bounced back and rallied to tie the match at 27-27. Maryland claimed the advantage following a Blue Devil service error, but matched Duke with another service error to return the point. Claire Smalzer then put the Blue Devils ahead 29-28 with a service ace before a Maryland attack error gave Duke the win.
“This was a lot closer than the 3-1 score showed,” head coach Jolene Nagel said. “It went point-by-point and we couldn’t get any kind of runs against Maryland. Maryland is a very good blocking team and did a good job siding out and got a lot of runs against us at key times. I thought our team did a great job of hanging tough at times when we could have been frazzled. We kept our poise and kept working.
“Our communication on-and-off the court was outstanding, even from our sidelines. This was a total team effort.”
Duke will return to Cameron Indoor Stadium this weekend for a pair of ACC matches, the first of which will be a 7 p.m. contest against Miami on Friday, Nov. 2. Duke will then face Florida State on Saturday, Nov. 3. The match time for the Florida State match has not been announced.