DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke volleyball team hosts in-state rivals NC State and North Carolina this Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20-21, in Cameron Indoor Stadium for the final weekend homestand of the regular season.
Duke (24-5, 14-3 ACC) has just three matches remaining during the regular season - all at home - beginning Friday at 7 p.m. against the Wolfpack (7-25, 0-17 ACC). The Blue Devils will also face North Carolina (15-13, 11-6 ACC) on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in a match that immediately follows the men's basketball team's 3 p.m. showdown against Radford on the same day. Admission to Duke's last three volleyball matches is free.
The Blue Devils rank second in the ACC standings, trailing No. 15 Florida State which has a two-game lead. Led by a fast-paced offense run by setter Kellie Catanach and a defense that ranks first in the ACC in opponent hitting percentage, the Blue Devils are on the verge of rattling off their fourth straight 25-win season, which is the longest active streak in the ACC. Duke, which is also the ACC's winningest program in terms of ACC victories, has swept five of its seven conference opponents so far in 2009, is looking for its sixth sweep this Friday against NC State.
Duke has lost just three conference matches all season, though one of those was to the Tar Heels on the road in the Dean E. Smith Center. Duke lost that match 3-1 when North Carolina held the Blue Devils to their lowest in-conference hitting percentage of the season. The Tar Heels will have a much tougher time in Cameron Indoor Stadium, however, where the Blue Devils are 111-21 (.841) since 2000.
Saturday's matchup will also be the last Carlyle Cup volleyball showdown of the season between Duke and North Carolina. The yearly competition pits all 23 athletic teams from both schools against one another with the school who garners the most points earning the title of Carlyle Cup Champion for that academic year. North Carolina currently leads the 2009 competition 5.5-2 with a half point in volleyball, two points in football and one point each in men's and women's soccer and field hockey. Duke swept the men's and women's cross country showdowns for its two points. Duke can take back a half point this Saturday with a volleyball win over the Tar Heels.
Saturday's match will also be streamed live at www.GoDuke.com.
Both NC State and North Carolina will have their hands full trying to defend a Duke offense that has effectively spread the ball around to attackers Rachael Moss, Becci Burling, Sophia Dunworth and Christiana Gray. Those four Blue Devils, along with the quarterbacking of Catanach, have helped Duke post a .259 team hitting percentage, 1,468 kills and 1,363 assists, all of which rank among the top three in the ACC.
Moss, who ranks fourth all-time at Duke in career kills (1,634), digs (1,505) and service aces (162), has turned her game up over the last week. The 5-10 outside hitter from Cypress, Calif., is coming off a weekend in which she posted two double-doubles in wins over Virginia Tech and Virginia, collecting at least 20 digs in both matches. She leads the team with 12 double-doubles on the year and is also on a streak of eight consecutive matches with at least 10 kills.
Following the showdown against NC State and North Carolina, Duke will host Wake Forest on Tuesday, Nov. 24, in the final match of the regular season. Along with "Family Night" activities, that match will also double as senior night with Duke honoring its senior class of Moss, Christina Falcone, Brittany Staffeil and Juliana Traut just before the 7 p.m. start.