CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Duke’s fifth consecutive victory came in the form of a straight-set win over instate rival North Carolina as the Blue Devils topped the Tar Heels 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 26-24) Friday evening in Carmichael Arena.
Duke (14-8, 8-5 ACC) totaled 46 kills to overcome 10 service errors and limited North Carolina (5-17, 1-11 ACC) to a .154 hitting percentage on the night, marking the 12th time this season the Blue Devils have held an opponent under .200.
“We’re really excited to come in here and get the win in an awesome environment,” said head coach Jolene Nagel. “We didn’t always execute as well as we would’ve liked, but we were able to scramble and make some plays out of system. I thought our team stayed focused and maintained their composure.”
Outside hitter Payton Schwantz notched her eighth double-double of the season, putting down a match-high 12 kills while also picking up 10 digs.
Reigning ACC Player of the Week Leah Meyer turned in another solid performance with 11 kills and three blocks while hitting .450. Freshman outside hitter Ade Owokoniran joined Schwantz and Meyer in double-digit kills, adding 11 of her own.
Defensively, Libero Mackenzie Cole matched Schwantz with 10 digs to help anchor the back line. Andie Shelton led all players with five blocks while also contributing five kills, 20 assists, two service aces and five digs.
The first set saw the two teams combine for 15 attack errors and seven service errors before Duke emerged with the two-point decision. Up a point, Owokoniran recorded the solo block to establish set point prior to a frame-ending UNC attack error to close it out.
Owokoniran took over in the second, dropping seven kills on 12 attempts to help Duke secure another 25-23 decision.
Duke trailed by as many as four in the third frame but was able to rally for the 26-24 victory. A 10-4 stretch over the middle of the stanza helped Duke inch ahead late. UNC was able to knot the score at 24-all, but Samantha Amos hammered a killed before Schwantz followed suit to seal the victory.
Duke wraps up the weekend with a road contest at NC State Sunday, November 4. The Blue Devils and the Wolfpack square off at 2 p.m., on ACC Network Extra.