DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke continued its strong start to ACC play, dispatching Georgia Tech in straight sets 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-14) Sunday afternoon in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Senior outside hitter Cadie Bates notched her fifth double-double of the season and the Blue Devils posted a .411 hitting percentage as Duke improved to 10-3 overall and 2-0 in conference action.
Duke’s .411 hitting percentage marked the team’s highest since the Blue Devils registered a .450 clip Aug. 28, 2015 against Cal State Fullerton. Bates led all players in both kills (12) and digs (15) for the match. She committed a single attack error on 20 attempts, good for a .550 hitting percentage.
“Our passing and our first touch was great getting to the setters really well,” said Bates. “[The setters] were really able to distribute the ball perfectly. Every time we went up for a swing, we were really confident the setters had put us in a good spot … one-on-one blockers a lot of the time. It was just a fun game. We came out really intense.”
Bates was one of three Blue Devils to hit over .500 for the match. Sophomore rightside hitter Samantha Amos put down 10 kills without an error and hit .556 while fellow sophomore rightside Natalie Schilling added nine kills on .529 hitting. Freshman Payton Schwantz added eight kills to round out the Duke offensive effort.
“[I’m] really proud of and excited for our team to be able to come out and perform the way they did,” said head coach Jolene Nagel. “They did a great job preparing. They stayed in control with the serve. Really steady in serve receive. Had good timing on our block to slow [the Georgia Tech] offense down a little bit. Excited for our team the way they maintained that efficiency throughout the match.”
Defensively, the Blue Devils limited Georgia Tech (6-7, 1-1 ACC) to .110 hitting. Duke totaled 11.0 blocks, led by junior Leah Meyer’s seven. Junior Anna Kropf, Amos and Schilling each contributed four blocks apiece to cause the Yellow Jackets trouble at the net.
Senior libero Nicole Elattrache collected 14 digs to join Bates in double figures.
“Our defense was doing a great job of getting the ball to target so the sets could be there,” Nagel said. “It was really a team effort.”
Duke hit .406 in the first frame and totaled 6.0 blocks to hold Georgia Tech to a .056 clip, cruising to a 25-13 decision.
The second set featured 10 ties and five lead changes before Duke pulled away in the end, 25-18. Down 16-15, Duke rattled off three straight points to regain the lead. The Blue Devils then outscored the Yellow Jackets, 7-1, to close out the set. Schilling laid down three kills during that stretch, helping Duke to a 2-0 overall lead.
Duke bolted to a 15-8 start in the third and never allowed Georgia Tech to gain momentum. The Blue Devils dropped 16 kills with one error, hitting .577 en route to the 25-14 win.
In the midst of a six-game home stand, Duke welcomes Syracuse and Boston College to Cameron this upcoming weekend. The Blue Devils battle the Orange at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 28 before taking on the Eagles at 1 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 1.