DURHAM, N.C. Ė No. 18 Duke pulled out two victories during Saturday’s round at the Duke Invitational, including a 3-1 (30-32, 30-21, 30-20, 30-26) upset over No. 13 Purdue and a 3-1 (23-20, 30-22, 30-23, 30-14) triumph over Winthrop in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Blue Devil senior Carrie DeMange was named the tournament’s most valuable player, while senior teammates Ali Hausfeld and Jenny Shull earned spots on the all-tournament team.
With the back-to-back wins following Friday’s 3-0 victory over East Carolina, Duke (3-0) has strung together 34 straight wins at Cameron Indoor Stadium, dating back to 2004. The Blue Devils have also won 15 straight matches in their home tournament, running their Duke Invitational Championship streak to five straight seasons.
“The team played with great desire and confidence in themselves tonight,” head coach Jolene Nagel said. “They have been pushing hard ever since we left the court last December and I’m excited they were able to enjoy and succeed in this highly competitive match at home.
“We played hard as a team at critical times in the match and it paid off. Our senior leadership has been showing itself throughout the spring and preseason, and they continued to lead us tonight.”
Match 1: No. 18 Duke 3, Winthrop 1 (23-20, 30-22, 30-23, 30-14)
In Saturday’s opener, Duke rebounded from a game one loss to take three straight meetings for a 3-1 (23-30, 30-22, 30-23, 30-14) victory over 2006 Big South Champion Winthrop.
Senior Carrie DeMange approached a triple-double with 22 kills, 14 digs and six blocks (two solo), while classmate Ali Hausfeld nearly accomplished the same feat with 55 assists, 12 digs, seven kills and four assisted blocks. Two Blue Devils joined DeMange with double-digit kills, as sophomore Rachael Moss and redshirt-freshman Juliana Traut claimed 12 each. Traut was 12-of-28 attacking with just one error for a match-high .393 hitting percentage.
Duke posted 11 total blocks in the contest, with sophomore Jourdan Norman contributing five assisted stops and Sue Carls and Traut adding three and two, respectively.
The Blue Devils also racked up 10 service aces against the Eagles, while allowing only four opposing serves to drop in for points. Four of the aces belonged to Moss, while freshman Claire Smalzer added three and Traut, senior libero Jenny Shull and sophomore Brittany Staffeil each contributed one each.
After a tight battle in game one that saw Winthrop post a .342 hitting percentage, the Blue Devils found their bearings and responded by holding the Eagles to a .105 clip in the second game, while turning in a .267 hitting percentage of their own. Defensive adjustments were key for Duke in game two, as the Blue Devils nearly doubled their dig total from the previous game while also failing to commit a single receiving error. After trailing 3-1 early in the game, Duke found a groove and led by as much as eight points at 23-15 before putting away the Eagles away with a game-sealing service ace by Smalzer, her first as a Blue Devil.
Tied at 1-1 following game two, the Blue Devils jumped on top early in game three before blowing the third meeting open with runs of 5-0 and 8-2. After staking a comfortable 21-12 lead, DeMange and Norman put an Eagle comeback to rest by combining for six kills on Duke’s final nine points.
With victory only one game away, the Blue Devils put on a dominating 30-14 performance in game four to seal the match. Moss began the match with three straight kills before the Eagles got on the board, but the 3-1 deficit would be the closest Winthrop came to victory in the final game. Duke led by as much as 20-9 before closing out the match. DeMange added five of her kills in the final game, while Moss and Traut added four apiece. The trio combined for a .370 hitting percentage in game three along with 13 of Duke’s 15 kills in the final game.
Match 2: No. 18 Duke 3, No. 13 Purdue 1 (30-32, 30-21, 30-20, 30-26)
In the nightcap, No. 18 Duke battled back once again from a game one loss to top No. 13 Purdue 3-1 (30-32, 30-21, 30-20, 30-26) and claim the Duke Invitational Championship.
Tournament MVP Carrie DeMange claimed her second double-double of the day with 17 kills and 19 digs against the Boilermakers while junior Sue Carls had a career night with a .500 hitting percentage and a career-best 18 kills.
Sophomore Rachael Moss also claimed a new career-best with six service aces in addition to her 13 kills and 11 digs. Senior setter Ali Hausfeld paced the offense with 61 assists and a .445 set percentage while also racking up 14 digs and three assisted blocks.
All-tournament team member and Duke libero Jenny Shull was just one shy of the 30-dig mark, notching 29 in the four-game spread. Shull also contributed to Duke’s 10 aces in the match with one of her own.
In game one, Purdue jumped on top early and staked a 13-7 lead, but the Blue Devils chipped away at the deficit and tied the score at 16-16 after a 9-3 run. Following the comeback, Purdue lead by no more than four points, but threatened to put Duke away with a four-point advantage at 29-25. Duke fought back, however, and put together a 5-0 run to take a 30-29 lead. A kill by Purdue’s Stephanie Lynch knotted the score at 30-30, however, before two attacking errors gave Purdue the game one victory.
Game two saw a different Duke team take the floor, however, as the Blue Devils improved their .139 hitting percentage from game one to a .325 mark in game two thanks to Carls, DeMange and Moss, who all contributed four kills apiece. Duke fell behind 4-1 early in the game, but rallied to claim a lead that eventually turned into an eight-point advantage at 27-19 following a 12-3 run.
Blue Devils Juliana Traut and Sue Carls were hot in game three, as the duo combined for 11 kills and a .579 hitting percentage on 19 error-free attacks. Duke benefited from a .349 collective hitting percentage in the game while holding Purdue to a .149 clip. After scoring six straight points to open the game with a 6-0 lead, Duke would lead by no less than three points for the remainder of the contest.
Purdue nearly found itself on the winning end of game four, but the Blue Devil trifecta of DeMange, Traut and Carls were able to put the match away before a sudden death fifth game. Carls led the group with five kills, while DeMange and Traut each added four apiece. Both the Blue Devils and Boilermakers refused to budge until Duke staked an 18-14 lead, the largest deficit to that point in the game. Purdue bounced back to bring the score within one, but Duke rallied for an 8-3 run to come within three points of victory at 27-20. A joint block by Traut and DeMange put Duke within two while another kill from DeMange brought the Blue Devils to within one point of the upset. Hausfeld and Jourdan Norman finished the bout with another block, Duke’s eighth of the match, to record the Blue Devils’ first win over a ranked opponent since 2004.
Duke will have the opportunity to duplicate the feat next weekend against No. 5 Southern California at the USC Classic in Los Angeles, Calif. Duke will also take on mercer and Cal State Northridge at the competition before heading to Lincoln, Neb., the following weekend for the Nebraska Ameritas Players Challenge.
2007 Duke Invitational Honors
Most Valuable Player
Carrie DeMange Duke
Po’haj Nu’uhiwa Winthrop
Ali Hausfeld Duke
Jenny Shull Duke
Anne Mastandrea Purdue
Danita Merlau Purdue
Kelli Sellers Winthrop
Kelley Wernert East Carolina