DURHAM, N.C. – The 13th-ranked Duke volleyball team puts its eight-match win streak on the line this weekend as the Blue Devils face a pair of ACC opponents in Wake Forest and Georgia Tech. Duke travels to Winston-Salem, N.C., for a 6:30 p.m. match against the Demon Deacons Friday. Nov. 15. The Blue Devils then return home to host the Yellow Jackets Saturday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Duke (22-3, 13-1 ACC) picked up a pair of conference road wins this past weekend to retain its first-place status in the ACC standings. Sophomore Breanna Atkinson knocked down a career-high 16 kills to lead the Blue Devils to a 3-0 win at Maryland Friday. Duke, paced by senior Chelsea Cook’s 15 kills and eight blocks, was then able to grind out a four-set victory against ACC newcomer Pittsburgh Sunday.
Friday’s match again pits Duke against a familiar foe as the Blue Devils downed Wake Forest in straight sets on Oct. 6. Cook, sophomore Emily Sklar and junior Jeme Obeime all registered double-digit kills while junior setter Maggie Deichmeister dished out 48 assists.
Deichmeister coordinates a formidable Duke offense that leads the ACC and ranks in the top 10 nationally in both assists per set (13.76) and kills per set (14.88). Sklar and Obeime are both key pieces to the Duke attack as the duo has combined for 569 kills in 2013.
Wake Forest (15-11, 4-10 ACC) looks to end a three-match skid following losses at Pittsburgh and Maryland. Seniors Kristin Grissom and Kylie Hargreaves pace the Demon Deacon attack with 283 and 255 kills, respectively. A strong defensive team, Wake Forest ranks second in the conference in digs per set (15.55 dps) and fifth in opponent hitting percentage (.179).
Friday marks the 63rd meeting between the Blue Devils and the Demon Deacons in program history. Duke leads the all-time series 47-15; however, the Blue Devils have dropped their last three decisions at the Demon Deacons’ Reynolds Gym.
Duke and Georgia Tech (9-17, 3-11 ACC) are also well acquainted with 61 meetings between the two schools already in the books. The Blue Devils own a 42-19 advantage in the series heading into Sunday’s matchup.
The Blue Devils faced Georgia Tech earlier this season, securing a 3-0 win in Atlanta on Oct. 18. Senior libero Ali McCurdy picked up 16 digs against the Yellow Jackets to break the school career digs record. The two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year is enjoying another standout season as McCurdy leads the league in digs per set (4.88 dps) and anchors a defense which ranks third in the conference in opponent hitting percentage (.166).
The Yellow Jackets entertain Clemson at home Thursday prior Saturday’s showdown in Cameron Indoor Stadium. With 292 kills to her credit, senior outside hitter Jennifer Percy is the top offensive target on the Yellow Jackets’ roster.
The Blue Devils take to the road for the final time during the regular season next weekend as Duke heads south to face Miami and No. 22 Florida State.