DURHAM, N.C. – Duke setter Kellie Catanach was named ACC Player of the Year, head coach Jolene Nagel was named ACC Coach of the Year, and a school-record five Blue Devils were named to the All-ACC Volleyball Team as ACC Champion Duke dominated the ACC’s end-of-year awards on Wednesday.
Catanach, a 6-2 junior from Tampa, Fla. (Plant), became the ACC-leading seventh Duke player to earn ACC Player of the Year honors and Duke’s third selection in the past five seasons. Nagel and her staff, meanwhile, pulled in their third ACC Coach of the Year award after leading the Blue Devils (24-6, 16-4 ACC) to their 10th ACC Regular Season Championship and the third conference crown in the past five seasons.
Catanach headlined an All-ACC group that included senior middle blocker Becci Burling, junior right side hitter Amanda Robertson, sophomore middle blocker Christiana Gray and freshman libero Ali McCurdy. McCurdy was also named to the ACC All-Freshman Team in addition to becoming the third Duke freshman to earn a spot on the All-ACC Team.
Catanach led the ACC and ranked 19th nationally with 11.40 assists per set while directing a Duke offense that ranked 19th in the country in kills per set, 21st in assists per set and 37th in hitting percentage. She led the team with 11 double-doubles and was a key piece of a Duke defense that held opponents to an ACC-low .170 hitting percentage. An AVCA All-America Honorable Mention selection in 2009, Catanach averaged 2.14 digs and 0.59 blocks while also tying for the team lead with 25 service aces. She ended the regular season on a streak of 20 consecutive matches with at least 30 assists.
Burling, a 6-1 middle blocker from Monument, Colo. (Lewis-Palmer), appeared on the All-ACC squad for the second straight year after emerging as Duke’s top attacker. The senior co-captain led Duke with 340 kills on a .292 hitting percentage while posting 102 blocks and a team-high 25 service aces. She also recorded her 1,000th career kill as a senior and ranks 15th all-time at Duke with 1,118 career kills.
Robertson, a 6-3 right side hitter from Roxboro, N.C. (Person) enjoyed a breakout year, setting career highs with 315 kills, a .343 hitting percentage and 272 digs. A three-time ACC Player of the Week selection, she ranks fourth in the ACC in hitting percentage, recorded nine double-doubles and has posted double-digit kills in 10 of her last 11 matches.
Gray, a 6-5 middle blocker from Carmel, Ind. (Cathedral), leads the ACC and ranks 22nd nationally with a .396 hitting percentage. She finished the regular season with 241 kills and averaged a team-high 4.02 kills for every attack error. Gray also led the team with 110 blocks while posting a career-high 11 stops in a 3-1 win over Virginia Tech.
McCurdy, a 5-7 libero from Tampa, Fla. (Plant), has already recorded the sixth-most digs in a season in Duke history and did so as a freshman. She ranks second in the ACC with 4.98 digs per set and was also Duke’s most valuable receiver, giving up only 19 receiving errors on the 557 serves hit her way (.966). Also a member of the ACC All-Freshman Team, McCurdy recorded 30 digs in a match twice and topped the 20-dig plateau 15 times.
With the 2010 ACC Championship, Duke has earned an automatic bid to the 2010 NCAA Volleyball Tournament. The Blue Devils will learn their postseason assignment on Sunday, November 28, during the NCAA Selection show which airs on ESPN News at 3 p.m.