FORT WORTH, Texas – Head coach Jolene Nagel earned her 600th career victory as Duke downed TCU in straight sets 3-0 (27-25, 25-20, 25-18) Friday evening at the Horned Frogs’ University Recreation Center.
With the victory, Nagel becomes the 22nd active NCAA Division I head coach to reach 600 career wins and joins Florida State’s Chris Poole and North Carolina’s Joe Sagula as the only three ACC coaches to reach the milestone.
“I honestly had no idea,” said Nagel. “As a coach, you just keep thinking about how to get the next one. It means I’ve been coaching a long time, but what sticks out the most is what a tremendous group of motivated, talented and determined young women and coaching staffs I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the years. It’s really been a joy and an honor to be their coach.”
Duke (5-2, 0-0 ACC) turned in one of its top offensive performances of the season as the Blue Devils posted a .347 hitting percentage. Freshman outside hitter Payton Schwantz led all players with 14 kills. Playing fewer than 50 miles from her hometown Frisco, Texas, Schwantz hit .333 and also contributed four digs and a block in the winning effort.
Fellow outside hitter Cadie Bates joined Schwantz in double-digit kills, knocking down 11 of her own while hitting .400. Middle blocker Anna Kropf and rightside hitter Natalie Schilling also had solid performances. Each added seven kills and registered a hitting percentage above .300.
“Our setters did a great job of distributing the ball,” Nagel said. Once the hitters got it, they did a great job of doing something with it. It was really a team effort from the pass to the set to the kill and also our blocking to help us transition and score.”
Duke’s six-point lead in the first set dissolved into a 22-all tie before the Blue Devils put the frame away, 27-25. After trading points, Duke received a Schilling kill before an Emma Paradiso service ace sealed the 1-0 overall Duke lead.
The two teams battled back and forth in the second set, resulting in a narrow one-point lead late for the Blue Devils, 21-20. Consecutive TCU attack errors provided separation and libero Nicole Elattrache did the rest, firing back-to-back service aces to finish off the 25-20 decision.
“The team did a really good job of serving tonight,” Nagel added. “That kept TCU from being able to do what they wanted to do.”
Duke built a sizeable lead in the third and final frame prior to clinching the set and the match. A 19-11 lead turned into a 25-18 final score to complete the sweep.
“I’m really excited and proud of our team,” Nagel said. “They put in a hard week of practice. They were really disciplined and focused. They really executed well.”
Elattrache finished with a match-high 11 digs to anchor the back line. TCU’s Anna Walsh was the only Horned Frog with 10-plus kills, knocking down 11.
Duke faces a quick turnaround, taking on Utah Valley at 12 p.m. (EDT) Saturday, Sept. 9 on the second day of the Fight in the Fort at TCU. The Blue Devils conclude the tournament at 5 p.m. (EDT) against Lehigh.