DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke volleyball team was picked to finish second in the conference by a vote of the league’s 15 head coaches, while Maggie Deichmeister, Jeme Obeime and Emily Sklar earned nods to the 2014 Preseason All-ACC Team. Duke and preseason favorite Florida State led all ACC schools with three selections each to the Preseason All-ACC squad.
With a 28-5 overall mark and 18-2 conference record, Duke captured its 11th ACC title and made its league-leading 18th NCAA Tournament appearance in 2013. The Blue Devils return 11 letterwinners and five starters from this past season’s squad, including All-America, All-East Coast Region and All-ACC selections Deichmeister, Obeime and Sklar.
A senior setter from Whitehall, Pa., Deichmeister directed Duke’s dynamic offense that led the ACC in both kills per set and assists per set. She finished the season ranked first in the conference and 17th nationally in assists per game. Deichmeister dished out 50 or more assists on seven occasions and also tied for the team lead with 10 double-doubles.
Obeime, a senior outside hitter, totaled a career-best 376 kills in 2013, marking her second straight season with 300 or more kills. The Carmel, Ind., native averaged 3.30 kills per set while posting a career-best .394 hitting percentage. Obeime put down or more kills in 22 matches and hit over .300 in 14 contests.
Junior outside hitter and 2013 ACC Player of the Year Sklar became the only sophomore in school history to garner conference player of the year recognition this past season. A native of San Jose, Calif., she knocked down 3.89 kills per set to ranked second in the ACC. She was the first Blue Devil to amass over 400 since Rachael Moss in 2008 as Sklar put down 10 or more kills in 28 of her 30 matches played. Her average rose to 4.09 kills per set in league matches, and she also tied Deichmeister for the team lead with 10 double-doubles.
The Blue Devils open the 2014 campaign this weekend with the annual Duke Invitational Friday and Saturday in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke kicks off its annual tournament against North Florida Aug. 29 at 12 p.m., followed by a 7 p.m., contest against High Point. The Blue Devils close out the weekend versus Furman at 3 p.m., Aug. 30.