NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Three Blue Devils turned in career performances to help Duke outlast Notre Dame 3-2 (25-21, 28-26, 19-25, 17-25, 15-12) Sunday afternoon at Purcell Pavilion.
Outside hitter Payton Schwantz turned in a career-high 22 kills, hitter/setter Andie Shelton notched her third double-double of the season, and middle blocker Leah Meyer matched her career-high 11 blocks to help Duke (8-7, 2-4 ACC) hold off a Notre Dame (10-6, 4-2 ACC) rally.
“Our team has had a hard road to begin the ACC,” said head coach Jolene Nagel. “Notre Dame is a really good team. They’re talented, physical, skilled and disciplined. To be able to pull together today and hang in there mentally after being up 2-0 then going to a fifth set was a huge step for our team. It was really fun to see this team pull together and make it happen today.”
Schwantz’ 22 kills were part of the sophomore’s sixth double-double on the year. She also picked up 18 digs in the winning effort.
Shelton finished the afternoon with 30 assists, 11 digs and 13 kills. Her 13th kill was the match-winner in the fifth and Shelton also hit .300 for the afternoon while contributing 4.0 blocks.
Meyer was a force at the net, leading to her second career double-double. She totaled 13 kills while hitting .429, committing four attack errors on 29 attempts. Defensively, her 11.0 blocks led all players and matched Meyer’s previous career high set September 24, 2016 at Virginia.
Libero Mackenzie Cole picked up a team-high 19 digs while defensive specialist Kelli Kalinoski had 13 to help anchor the backline. Those two rounded out Duke’s contingent of four in double-digit digs.
Thirteen of Schwantz’ 22 kills came over the first two sets, both Duke victories. Notre Dame found its rhythm over the next two frames, forcing a fifth set.
The two teams traded points over the final frame with neither able to build more than a single point advantage. Tied at 12-all, Duke broke away to win the final three points, receiving a Meyer kill, Irish attack error and Shelton kill to wrap up the win.
Duke returns to Cameron Indoor Stadium to continue ACC play this coming weekend. The Blue Devils play host to Clemson Friday, October 12 and Georgia Tech Sunday, October 14.