DURHAM, N.C. – South Carolina outside hitter Mikayla Shields totaled a career-high 26 kills to lead the Gamecocks past Duke 3-1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-16) to conclude the Duke Invitational Saturday afternoon in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Shields committed three attack errors on 45 attempts to post a .511 hitting percentage for the match. As a team, South Carolina (4-2) registered a .327 hitting clip to the Blue Devils .204.
Duke (4-2) knocked down 17 kills in the first set, a 25-19 victory, but could not maintain the offensive production the final three stanzas.
Blue Devil outside hitters Cadie Bates and Payton Schwantz combined for 10 kills on 15 attempts with one error in the first set to lead Duke to a six-point victory. Duke built a 13-8 lead with Kelli Kalinoski behind the service line and did not allow the Gamecocks back in the set.
South Carolina stormed out to early leads in each of the next three sets. Duke was able to cut the deficit in both the second and third stanzas, but the Gamecocks had an answer each time to thwart the Blue Devil threat.
Up 2-1, the Gamecocks built a 10-4 margin to start set four and would not relinquish the lead the rest of the way, posting a .469 hitting percentage with 17 kills.
Schwantz led the Blue Devils with 13 kills for the match, marking her fourth match with 10-plus kills this season. Sophomore Natalie Schilling and freshman Summer Brown both provided sparks, adding nine and six kills, respectively.
Libero Nicole Elattrache finished with a match-high 19 digs while Bates contributed 10 digs to go along with eight kills.
Duke returns to action Friday, Sept. 8, traveling to Fort Worth, Texas for the Fight in the Fort at TCU tournament. The Blue Devils battle the host Horned Frogs Friday at 7 p.m. (EDT) before taking on Utah Valley at 12 p.m. (EDT) and Lehigh at 5 p.m. (EDT) Saturday.
2017 Duke Invitational All-Tournament Team
Nia Robinson – Northwestern
Taylor Tashima – Northwestern
Lexi Pitsas - Northwestern
Payton Schwantz – Duke
Mikayla Robinson – South Carolina
Halle Hunt - UNCW