DURAHAM, N.C. – Carrie DeMange and Rachael Moss each topped 20 kills and digs as the 17th-ranked Duke volleyball team overcame Virginia 3-2 (18-30, 30-19, 30-19, 26-30, 17-15) Saturday evening in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
DeMange knocked down 29 kills over the five-game spread, including eight in a narrow game five victory. Her 28 digs led all players and extended her double-double streak to 13 consecutive outings. The senior middle blocker also contributed eight blocks to tie classmate Ali Hausfeld for the match-lead. While DeMange came through late for Duke, Moss provided the early offense with 15 of her 22 kills over the first three games, eight of which came in game three. With Saturday’s performance, the sophomore outside hitter has topped 20 kills in four of Duke’s last six matches.
With Hausfeld and DeMange working their way in on eight blocks, Duke (16-4, 11-1 ACC) reached a new season-high with 15.5 blocks on the night. Hausfeld also served up 68 assists, 11 digs and an ace for a double-double, while senior libero Jenny Shull picked up 27 digs and a kill. Jourdan Norman found her way in on six blocks and posted a match-high .385 hitting percentage, marking the fifth straight match in which the junior middle blocker has exceeded a .300 clip.
Sarah Kirkwood paced Virginia (13-8, 8-4 ACC) with 22 kills, 60 attacks and a .300 hitting percentage, while libero Melissa Caldwell added 36 digs. The Cavaliers hammered nine service aces for the most allowed against the Blue Devils this season.
Virginia came out swinging in game one and posted a .405 hitting percentage on 17 kills for a commanding 30-18 game one victory. Duke managed a .233 clip, but could not overcome an early seven-point deficit. Kirkwood was an errorless 7-for-10 attacking, while the Cavaliers committed just two offensive errors in the opening frame. Virginia took their first nine points before the Blue Devils managed three of their own, and went on to build a 10-point lead at 17-7. Duke surged momentarily to cut the deficit to single digits at 18-11, but Virginia got back on track and rebuilt its double-digit advantage before ending the game with three consecutive points.
The Blue Devils returned the favor in game two and rebounded for a .333 clip, while holding Virginia to a mark of .070 in the 30-19 victory. Defensively, Duke racked up 6.5 blocks in the second frame after failing to record a single stop in the opener. Moss contributed six kills on 12 errorless attacks, while DeMange added four kills, eight digs and three blocks. After opening to a five-point lead, Duke allowed Virginia to battle back within two at 12-10, but regained the momentum for a 7-2 run that ran the score to 19-12. Steady production from Moss, Norman and DeMange allowed the Blue Devils to near match point before kills from Sue Carls and Brittany Staffeil and a block from DeMange and Hausfeld sealed the game two victory.
The same pace continued for Duke in game three, as the Blue Devils posted a match-high .400 hitting percentage while holding Virginia to a .113 clip. Moss hammered eight kills in the third frame, while DeMange finished 7-for-14 with three blocks and 10 digs. Duke fell behind early, but rallied to tie the score at 12-12 before taking the lead for the remainder of the game. Duke broke the tie with five consecutive points, all of which were kills from Moss, DeMange, Carls and Norman. Virginia would manage a handful of points, but it was just a slight interruption to the 13-3 Blue Devil run. Leading 25-15, freshman Becci Burling opened Duke’s final run with a kill that was quickly followed by three from Moss and the clincher from Norman.
Virginia got back on track in game four to hold on for a 30-26 win that knotted the match at 2-2 and forced game five. Duke managed just a .170 hitting percentage in game four, despite errorless four-kill efforts from Moss and Carls. Virginia’s Beth Shelton and Kirkwood teamed up for six kills apiece, while setter Kelly Irvin contributed 19 assists. Virginia broke a 6-6 tie and went ahead by two at 12-10 before nine consecutive points ran the lead to double figures at 21-10. Following a timeout by the Blue Devils, Duke rallied with a 16-5 run to cut the deficit to tie the score at 26-26. Virginia turned up the offense, however, and recorded four straight kills to clinch game four.
With the playing field leveled in game five, Duke’s senior leadership prevailed, as DeMange nailed eight of her 14 attacks, thanks in part to Hausfeld’s 12 assists. Following a court-change, DeMange rattled off five kills to overcome an 8-6 deficit and put the Blue Devils ahead 11-10. Virginia managed to overcome the deficit and fight off back-to-back match-point situations, but committed an attack error with the score tied at 15-15 to set up the match-clinching kill from DeMange.
Duke will head north for a two-match road trip, beginning with an 8 p.m. meeting against Boston College on Oct. 26 and following with an afternoon meeting with Maryland on Sunday, Oct. 28.