DURHAM, N.C. – Faced with its fourth five-set match during the month of November, Duke hung on to defeat Miami 3-2 (27-25, 26-24, 27-29, 22-25, 15-13) Friday afternoon in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Duke (16-11, 10-8 ACC) won the first two sets to stake a 2-0 overall advantage, but Miami (13-12, 9-9 ACC) was able to win the third and fourth frames to force a final set. Sophomore Payton Schwantz had three kills and redshirt junior Leah Meyer added three blocks in the fifth set to help Duke prevail.
“Our team did a great job of hanging tough today,” said head coach Jolene Nagel. “We had different people step up at different times. We wanted it really badly and it showed in our play on the court. I’m really proud of them. I would’ve liked for us not to go as long after being up 2-0, but Miami is a good team and they have a great serve. They have some great hitters and they just kept coming at us. It was a battle out there.”
Schwantz’ three kills in the final set were part of a team-leading 18-kill performance from the Frisco, Texas native. Schwantz also added 17 digs for her 10th double-double of the 2018 season.
Graduate student Andie Shelton turned in yet another triple-double, her sixth of the season, accruing 17 kills, 26 assists and 11 digs in addition to six blocks. Shelton hit .382 for the match and contributed two service aces as well.
Meyer was the top blocker in the match, ending her day with nine. Offensively, Meyer put down 15 kills and hit a scalding .583. Fellow middle blocker Lily Cooper also played a key role with 10 kills and eight blocks.
Duke hit over .300 as a team in each of the first two sets, eking out close victories in both. Seven Shelton kills propelled the Blue Devils to a 27-25 first-set decision before Duke hit .464 in a 26-24 second set.
The Blue Devils established match point, 24-22, in the third, but a late Miami charge allowed the Hurricanes to take the frame, 29-27. Duke then led by as many as five points in the fourth prior to a 13-5 Hurricane run that allowed Miami to tie the overall score, 2-2.
Much like the entire match, the fifth came down to the wire. Tied 12-12, a Miami attack error coupled with a Schwantz kill gave Duke match point. Following a Hurricane kill, Meyer and Samantha Amos teamed up for the game-winning block to end the match.
Miami’s Elizabeta Lukianova had 22 kills to lead all players, while Emily Damon’s 23 digs were a match high. On the Duke backline, libero Mackenzie Cole had a team-high 18 digs.