DURHAM, N.C. - Kellie Catanach neared a triple-double with 37 assists, eight digs and a career-high nine kills to lead Duke past Maryland 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16) on Saturday evening in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The reigning ACC Player of the Year, Catanach directed Duke to three straight wins in games two, three and four while frustrating the Terrapins on the offensive and defensive end. A 6-2 setter and 2010 All-American, Catanach and the Blue Devils (12-6, 6-3 ACC) wrestled away the momentum with a hard-fought win in set two and cruised to their fourth straight victory and 18th consecutive ACC win in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Catanach directed three Duke hitters to double-digit kills and posted a .375 hitting percentage of her own. A senior, Catanach has become a more aggressive attacker over Duke's last month of play and is averaging 1.44 kills and .345 hitting percentage during her last nine outings. The approach has opened up attacking windows for fellow seniors Amanda Robertson and Sophia Dunworth and junior Christiana Gray, all of which had double-digit kills against Maryland.
Robertson had the hot hand, connecting on 14 of her 30 attacks while making only one attack error the entire night. She added 12 digs for her fifth double-double of the year while helping to hold Maryland to a .172 hitting percentage. Gray stayed hot as well, nailing 13 kills on a .379 hitting percentage, while Dunworth was Catanach's top target and converted 11 of her 38 swings into points.
Maryland opened the match in dominant fashion, hitting .318 in the first set on the way to a 25-20 victory. Duke tied the score at 15-15 midway through, but Maryland middle blocker Caitlin Adams proved too much for the Blue Devils as she opened her errorless match by going 7-for-8 in the first set.
Duke keyed in on Adams for the duration, however, and limited her to just five kills the rest of the way. Libero Ali McCurdy led a strong defensive effort in set two, picking up five digs to give Duke's offense a chance to find its rhythm. Maryland came within two points of set point, but Duke rallied from a 23-20 deficit to score five straight points and win the set 25-23. Robertson had two kills during that run, including the point that tied the set at 23-23 and the set point that won it.
Catanach snuck in four kills in set three as Duke went ahead with a 25-20 victory. Dunworth had a pair of blocks, and Chelsea Cook, Megan Hendrickson, Gray and Robertson also worked their way in on Duke's 3.5 blocks. Nailah Waterfield and McCurdy helped to hold the Terrapins without an ace and forced them into three service errors.
The momentum swung fully to Duke's side of the court in set four as the Blue Devils hit .324 to take the finale 25-16. Cook served a 6-0 run that put Duke ahead 14-8 and wrapped up the match with the winning kill.
Duke will host rival North Carolina on Wednesday, October 19, in a nationally televised match that will air live on ESPNU. The Tobacco Road showdown will begin at 6 p.m. in Cameron Indoor Stadium and offers free admission.