DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke volleyball team kicked off the 2013 Duke Invitational with a pair of sweeps as the Blue Devils defeated both Liberty and Utah State Friday at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“I thought that our team came out ready to play,” said head coach Jolene Nagel. “We’re looking at this tournament one match at a time. They’ve seemed focused out there on the court. I’m pleased with the way they are adjusting during the match and the way they’re competing and working together.”
Match 1: Duke vs. Liberty
Junior outside hitter Jeme Obeime totaled a match-high 13 kills to lead Duke (6-2) to a 3-0 (25-10, 25-19, 25-21) victory over Liberty at 2013 Duke Invitational at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Obeime did not commit an attack error on 18 attempts, posting a .722 hitting percentage. Sophomore Emily Sklar also reached double-digit kills, knocking down 12 against the Flames. Sklar has reached double-digit kills in 5-of-6 matches this season and currently leads the Blue Devils with 70 on the year.
Junior setter Maggie Deichmeister picked up her second double-double of the season, totaling 31 assists and 10 digs. Senior Ali McCurdy and freshman Sasha Karelov joined Deichmeister in double-digit digs, totaling 16 and 11, respectively. McCurdy now has a team-best 94 digs this year, bring her career total to 2,039, 161 short of the Duke career record.
The Flames compiled eight team blocks, but Duke was able to hold Liberty (1-7) to a .117 hitting percentage. Lillie Happel led the Flames with six kills, while Becca Haraf and Allie Reynolds had a team-high seven digs each.
Match 2: Duke vs. Utah State
Duke posted a season-high .388 hitting percentage en route to a 3-0 (25-21, 25-14, 25-10) victory over Utah State (5-4) Friday evening at the Duke Invitational. The Blue Devils knocked down 48 kills to 22 for the Aggies, picking up their sixth sweep of the season.
Three Blue Devils – senior Chelsea Cook, junior Jeme Obeime and freshman Jordan Tucker – reached double-digit kills totals. Cook led the way with 11, hitting .429 while also chipping in five blocks. Tucker match a career-high with 10 kills while Obeime also added 10. Obeime was stellar for the Blue Devils in both contests, totaled a team-high 23 kills on .550 hitting on the day.
Duke pulled out a tight opening set against and ultimately pulled away in the second and third sets. The Blue Devils were dominant in the final stanza, outhitting the Aggies .455 to .032 to clinch the three-set victory.
Rachel Orr and Elle Brainard led the Aggies with seven kills each.
The Duke Invitational comes to a close with two matches Saturday in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Utah State and Liberty square off at 11:30 a.m., and Duke takes on South Carolina at 1:30 p.m.