DURHAM, N.C. – Head coach Jolene Nagel and the Duke volleyball program have unveiled the 2017 schedule, featuring 31 regular season matches from August to November.
Once again, the Blue Devils compete with the best in college volleyball. Nearly half of Duke's 2017 opponents finished the season with 20 or more wins a year ago. In addition, the Blue Devils face six NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago in Colorado State, TCU, Coastal Carolina, North Carolina, Florida State and Pittsburgh.
Duke faces 11 opponents from 11 different conferences before delving into ACC play the third weekend in September.
First, the Blue Devils travel to Fort Collins, Colo., to take on Colorado State (21-9, 15-3 Mountain West), UCF (23-10, 13-7 AAC) and Northern Colorado (18-11, 12-4 Big Sky). The Blue Devils then welcome UNCW (17-11, 7-9 CAA), Northwestern (10-22, 3-17 Big Ten) and South Carolina (18-12, 6-12 SEC) to Cameron Indoor Stadium Sept. 1 and 2 for the Duke Invitational. The Blue Devils' final preseason tournament brings Duke to Fort Worth, Texas to take on TCU (15-13, 7-9 Big 12), Utah Valley (16-14, 10-4 WAC) and Lehigh (13-17, 8-8 Patriot) Sept. 8 and 9. Duke concludes the non-conference portion of its schedule at home Sept. 15 versus Coastal Carolina (28-5, 15-1 Sun Belt) and Sept. 16 against Loyola Marymount (19-11, 10-8 West Coast).
“Our strong preseason schedule pits us against programs from various regions across the country,” said Nagel. “This gives us a chance to make our mark before diving into ACC play.”
Over the course of 20 ACC matches, Duke has home-and-home series with Wake Forest (9-22, 5-15 ACC), North Carolina (29-3, 19-1 ACC), NC State (20-12, 13-7 ACC), Georgia Tech (24-8, 15-5 ACC), Boston College (8-22, 3-17 ACC) and Syracuse (7-23, 6-14 ACC). The Blue Devils face Pittsburgh (25-9, 15-5 ACC), Clemson (6-26, 1-19 ACC), Virginia (7-25, 4-16 ACC) and Virginia Tech (13-18, 8-12 ACC) in one road match each while hosting single contests versus Notre Dame (22-10, 13-7 ACC), Louisville (12-18, 7-13 ACC), Miami (15-17, 9-11 ACC) and Florida State (25-5, 17-3 ACC).
“Year in and year out, the ACC schedule is a grind,” Nagel added. “We expect nothing less this season from our conference slate.”
This past season, Duke (21-9, 15-5 ACC) surpassed 20 wins for the 27th time in the program's 46-year history. The Blue Devils have topped 20 wins in 10 of the past 12 seasons and look to continue that trend in 2017 with 11 returning letterwinners.