DURHAM, N.C. – Headlined by ACC Player of the Year Emily Sklar, ACC Defensive Player of the Year Ali McCurdy and ACC Coach of the Year Jolene Nagel, the Duke volleyball team set a school record with six players receiving All-ACC honors as announced by the league Wednesday.
Sklar and McCurdy netted first team accolades, while senior Chelsea Cook and junior Jeme Obeime earned second team honors, junior Maggie Deichmeister garnered third team distinction and rookie Jordan Tucker picked up All-ACC Freshman team recognition.
A 6-3 native of San Jose, Calif., Sklar led the team with 384 kills and ranked second in the ACC, averaging 3.96 kills per set. In conference matches, she was one of just two league players to average over 4.00 kills per frame, ending the regular season at a 4.09 clip. Sklar put down 10 or more kills in 26 contests, including an active streak of 21 straight matches in which she has played. Also a strong player on defense, Sklar tied for the team lead with nine double-doubles and picked up over 200 digs on the year. She is the only sophomore in Duke history, and eighth Blue Devil overall, to take home player of the year honors.
A product of Tampa, Fla., McCurdy earned ACC Defensive Player of the Year distinction for the third consecutive season. Already the first student-athlete to win back-to-back league individual volleyball awards following last season, she now becomes the first to win an individual honor in three consecutive campaigns. The senior libero led the league in digs per set (5.10) and owns the career digs record both in the ACC and at Duke, amassing 2,491 over her fours year in Durham. The lone Blue Devil to register 500 or more digs in each of her four seasons, McCurdy is also the only player in school history to average over 5.00 digs per set for a career.
Nagel and her staff pulled in their fourth ACC Coach of the Year (2001, 2006, 2010, 2013) award after guiding the Blue Devils to the 2013 ACC Championship with a 27-4 overall record and 18-2 mark in conference play. Under her direction, Duke saw six players placed on All-ACC teams and had two earn major individual honors, while the team achieved a national ranking as high as No. 13 in the AVCA poll.
Co-captain Cook acquired her first all-league award following a stellar senior season. The Overland Park, Kan., native led the team and ranked eighth in the ACC, averaging 1.17 blocks per game. A 6-2 middle blocker, Cook put down over 200 kills for the second consecutive season in addition to leading the Blue Devils in service aces with 27.
Outside hitter Obeime also earned her first career All-ACC accolades this season after totaling a career-best 346 kills. Her second straight season with 300 or more kills, Obeime averaged 3.23 per frame and posted a career-best .291 hitting percentage. The Carmel, Ind., native dropped 10-plus kills in 20 matches and hit over .300 13 times during the course of the regular season.
The third Blue Devil to pick up her first career all-conference honors, setter Deichmeister directed a potent Duke offense that led the league in both kills per set (14.87) and assists per set (13.83). The Whitehall, Pa., native led the ACC and ranked 17th nationally with an 11.47 assists per set average. Deichmeister tossed up 50 or more assists seven times this season and tied for the team lead with nine double-doubles.
Tucker, a 6-0 middle blocker, rounds out the Duke All-ACC contingent after garnering All-Freshman Team honors. She ranked second on the team with 96 blocks, averaging 0.93 per frame. Also a key to the Blue Devil offense, she knocked down 215 kills while leading the team and ranking eighth in the league with a .316 hitting percentage.
The No. 16 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament, Duke opens postseason play Friday at 7:30 p.m. against the College of Charleston. The Blue Devils are set to host the first and second rounds in Cameron Indoor Stadium Friday and Saturday.
2013 ACC Volleyball Individual Awards
|Player of the Year||Emily Sklar||So.||OH||Duke|
|Defensive Player of the Year||Ali McCurdy||Sr.||L||Duke|
|Freshman of the Year||Jasmine Burton||Fr.||RS||Virginia|
|Coach of the Year||Jolene Nagel||Duke|
2013 All-ACC Volleyball First Team
|Ashley Neff #||Sr.||MB||Florida State|
|Jovana Bjelica||Sr.||OH||North Carolina|
|Victoria Hamsher||Sr.||MB||Virginia Tech|
|Emani Sims !||Jr.||MB||Miami|
|Ali McCurdy %||Sr.||L||Duke|
2013 All-ACC Volleyball Second Team
|Nicole Walch||So.||OH||Florida State|
|Paige Neuenfeldt||So.||MB||North Carolina|
|Elise Walch||So.||OH||Florida State|
|Ashleigh Crutcher !||Jr.||OH||Maryland|
|Alexis Mourning !||Jr.||MB||Miami|
|Katie Mosher||Jr.||L||Florida State|
2013 All-ACC Volleyball Third Team
|Jeni Houser||Jr.||MB||Notre Dame|
|Kathryn Caine||Jr.||RS||Virginia Tech|
|Victoria McPherson||So.||MB||North Carolina|
|Ryan Shaffer !||Sr.||DS||Miami|
2013 All-ACC Volleyball Freshman Team
|Lindsey Owens||Fr.||OH||Virginia Tech|
|Abigail Curry||Fr.||S||North Carolina|
! – Two-time selection
# - Three-time selection
% - Four-time selection