CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Rachael Moss posted her second straight double-double with 17 kills and 21 digs to lead Duke past Virginia 3-1 (24-26, 27-25, 25-12, 25-22) Saturday evening in Memorial Gymnasium.
Moss' 21 digs were a season high, surpassing the 20 she collected in her last match against Virginia Tech on Friday. The consecutive 20-dig outings brought Moss' career total to 1,505 digs, making her just the fourth Duke player in school history to reach 1,500 career digs.
Moss, a 5-10 senior outside hitter, was just as effective on the offensive end, leading Duke (24-5, 14-3 ACC) in kills and attacks. She collected her 27th service ace of the year and was one of four Blue Devils to reach double-digit kills. Duke's offense, directed by sophomore setter Kellie Catanach's 50 assists, got 16 kills from Sophia Dunworth and 12 apiece from middle blockers Becci Burling and Christiana Gray. Catanach also picked up a double-double with 11 digs and added two service aces.
Gray was unstoppable, connecting 12-of-16 attacks without making an error. That effort produced a career-high .750 hitting percentage for the 6-5 freshman, who leads Duke with a .346 clip. Dunworth also went without an attack error, finishing with a .485 clip on 33 attacks.
"Virginia played great defense tonight, they were very scrappy and the rallies were really long," Duke head coach Jolene Nagel said. "Our team did a great job of being disciplined during those long rallies."
Duke hit .338 in the match, compared to a .272 mark posted by Virginia (12-16, 7-10 ACC). The Cavaliers hit over .300 in the second and third sets, but were outpaced by a Duke team that hit at least .500 in both of those games. Virginia hounded by Duke libero Claire Smalzer, who picked up 20 digs, and the middle-blocking duo of Gray and Amanda Robertson, who each finished with four blocks.
Virginia used a three-headed attack led by Simone Asque, who took a team-high 54 attacks and put down 17 of them on Duke's side of the court. Kendahl Voelker, meanwhile, was Virginia's most efficient attacker with 15 kills and .419 hitting percentage, while Jessica O'Shoney also reached double digits with 10 kills.
Virginia jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead after taking the first set 26-24 on the strength of a perfect 7-for-7 outing from Voelker. Duke had no answer for the Virginia outside hitter and also had trouble getting anything past Asque, who totaled 10 digs in the opening game. Duke hit just .156 in the opener, but would rebound in the second game.
Already in a 1-0 deficit, the Catanach-led Blue Devils went to work in set two and posted a .500 hitting percentage on the way to a 27-25 win. Catanach dished out 18 assists and set up her teammates for 20 kills while chalking up three of her own. Duke made just two errors in the second game and saw Burling finished 5-for-10 without an error.
That pace continued into the third set, as Duke hit .516 with just one attack error to take game three 25-15. This time, Dunworth had her way with the Cavaliers and finished 6-for-8. Smalzer, meanwhile, collected six digs, a service ace and two assists in the 10-point victory.
The Blue Devils went back to Moss in the fourth set and let her put the match away with her final eight kills. Moss' .400 hitting percentage led Duke to a match-winning 25-22 win in the final frame which gave Duke its 16th road win of the season.
Duke will now close out the 2009 regular season with three home matches, beginning on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20-21 against NC State and North Carolina in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils will then host Wake Forest on Tuesday, Nov. 24 to close out the season before awaiting their NCAA postseason assignment.