DURHAM, N.C. – Senior libero Ali McCurdy tied a season high with 26 digs to become the ACC’s all-time digs leader, helping the 18th-ranked Duke volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-12, 25-17, 22-25, 25-19) victory over Boston College Saturday evening in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Now with 2,316 career digs, McCurdy surpassed the previous conference record of 2,303 set by Clemson’s Didem Ege in 2009.
“It’s a really exciting thing to have one of your players set a record like that in the ACC,” said head coach Jolene Nagel. “She’s such a coachable player. She’s gotten better every single year because she is so coachable. She’s continued to work on the things we wanted her to work on, and she’s also become a great leader, too. For her to get this kind of reward, I can’t say enough about it. I’m so proud of her.”
“It’s awesome that it happened here and we were able to get a big win over Boston College,” added McCurdy. “It’s been a great season so far, so [we have to] continue working hard to get to where we want to be.”
With the win, Duke (20-3, 11-1) reached the 20-win plateau for the eighth time in the past nine seasons and also moved into sole possession of first place in the ACC standings. The Blue Devils’ defense, led by McCurdy, limited Boston College (8-16, 0-12 ACC) to a .106 hitting percentage, marking the 18th time this season Duke has held its opponent to under a .200 clip.
Three Blue Devils reached double-digit kills with junior Jeme Obeime’s 14 leading the squad. Obeime committed just two attack errors on 25 attempts, hitting a torrid .480 for the match. Duke’s sophomore tandem of Emily Sklar and Elizabeth Campbell joined Obeime in double-digit kills, registering 13 and 11, respectively. Sklar also added 10 digs for her second straight double-double and fourth of the season.
Duke opened the match with a dominant performance in the opening set as the Blue Devils knocked down 16 kills to the Eagles’ six. Up 13-6 following an early 5-1 run, Duke cruised to the 25-12 victory to take a 1-0 lead.
The second set began much like the first with Duke claiming a substantial lead by the midway point. Sklar led all players with six kills in the frame, followed closely by Obeime’s four, as the Blue Devils took the set, 25-17.
Down 2-0 overall, Boston College responded in the third stanza. The Eagles’ Melissa McTighe put down three kills over the opening nine points to help Boston College to a 7-2 advantage. The Eagles maintained their advantage till late in the frame when Duke pulled within one, 22-21, following a Campbell and Jordan Tucker block. However, Anna Skold came up with a pair of kills to help ice the set for Boston College, 25-22.
A 4-0 Eagle run to being the fourth frame seemed to spell trouble for Duke, but the Blue Devils fought off the early deficit. Duke went ahead for good, 11-10, on a Campbell kill and used a key block to build a three-point margin at 17-14. BC fought back to within two, 21-19, but Duke closed out the match on a 4-0 spurt, capped by Campbell’s 13th service ace of the season.
“We made some adjustments,” said Sklar. “[Boston College] did a great job of digging balls in the third game. We just decided to switch up our offense a little bit and run some different plays. I think we also went back between the third and fourth games and talked about having stronger mental focus.”
Sophomore Katty Workman recorded 13 kills and 16 digs to lead the Eagles, while McTighe finished the night with 12 kills.
Duke hits the road this coming weekend, traveling to Maryland Friday, Nov. 8, and Pittsburgh Sunday, Nov. 10.