RALEIGH, N.C. – Behind outside hitter Teni Sopitan’s 21 kills, NC State outlasted Duke 3-2 (23-25, 25-17, 21-25, 25-20, 13-15) to snap the Blue Devils’ five-match win streak Sunday afternoon at Reynolds Coliseum.
“Our serve receive was good today and our setters gave our hitters a chance to be successful,” said head coach Jolene Nagel. “But we made errors at bad times and that hurt in such a close match. NC State played hard and executed well. We have to come out strong every single time. We got ourselves in a hole in set one and that set us back a little bit as we continued.”
Setter/hitter Andie Shelton recorded her fourth triple-double of the season, totaling a team-high 16 kills to go along with 23 assists and 14 digs. Shelton hit .353 with just four attack errors over 34 attempts while also notching three service aces and three blocks.
Shelton is the seventh NCAA Division I player to record four triple-doubles this season.
Middle blocker Leah Meyer totaled 13 kills and a career-high 12 blocks to record her second double-double of the season and third of her career. Outside hitter Payton Schwantz finished a dig shy of a double-doubled as well, adding 14 kills and nine digs.
Defensively, libero Mackenzie Cole picked up a team-high 20 digs and defensive specialist Kelli Kalinoski had 14. Setter Sarah Nelson added 12 to go along with 29 assists for her first double-double of the year.
Duke was unable to fully recover from a slow start to set one. The Blue Devils trailed by as many as seven points before rallying late, fighting off four-straight set points to make it a 24-23 score before an NC State kill ended the threat.
After NC State hit .303 in the first, Duke was able to limit the Wolfpack to a -.031 clip in the second. The Blue Devils put down 15 kills to NC State’s seven, winning the frame 25-17 to even the match overall.
Sopitan had eight of her 21 kills in the third set, a 25-21 NC State victory.
Two Shelton aces sandwiched a Meyer solo block to give Duke the fourth-set separation it needed after the two teams split the stanza’s opening 20 points. Duke kept the lead steady the rest of the way before Meyer and Amos teamed up on the set-ending block.
The back-and-forth play continued in the fifth and deciding frame. Tied at 9-9, NC State mounted a 3-0 run then took a 14-10 lead late. Duke fought off three match points, but a Sopitan kill ultimately end the rally.
The Blue Devils wrap up a three-match road swing this coming Sunday, November 11 at Pittsburgh.