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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
2017 Volleyball Season Highlights
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 12/15/2017
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DURHAM, N.C. – Four newcomers joined nine returning letterwinners to lead the Blue Devils to a 19-12 (11-9 ACC) campaign in 2017, the program’s 19th under the direction of head coach Jolene Nagel.

First tasked with replacing 2016 All-Americans Jordan Tucker and Sasha Karelov, the Blue Devils faced further adversity after losing Preseason All-ACC middle blocker Leah Meyer and talented underclassman rightside hitter Natalie Schilling to injury early in the season. Duke received many key contributions throughout the season, leaning on the leadership of seniors Cadie Bates, Nicole Elattrache, Anna Kropf and Emma Paradiso.

The Blue Devils also benefitted from the solid play of freshmen Payton Schwantz and Summer Brown, both tabbed to the 2017 ACC All-Freshman Team.

After battling injuries throughout her career, outside hitter Cadie Bates saved her best season for last, earning second team All-ACC honors in 2017. Bates played all six rotations for the Blue Devils, leading the team with 376 kills to go along with 383 digs, 51 blocks and 23 service aces. In addition, Bates become the first Blue Devil with 350-plus kills and 350-plus digs in the same season since Rachel Moss in 2008.

Senior Nicole Elattrache picked up a team-best 523 digs and became the 23rd player in program history to reach 1,000 career digs. After entering the program as a setter and playing three seasons as a defensive specialist, Elattrache took over as Duke’s starting libero in 2017. She then finished her collegiate career with 1,210 digs, good for 13th in the Blue Devil record books. As a senior, she ranked third in the ACC in digs per set and surpassed 20 digs in eight matches.

Freshman outside hitter Payton Schwantz enjoyed a tremendous rookie season, culminating in ACC All-Freshman Team honors. The Frisco, Texas native played in all 31 matches and ranked second on the team with 350 kills to become the first Duke freshman with 350 kills since Rachael Moss in 2006. Schwantz recorded double-digit kills in 23 matches and hit over .300 10 times.

With Meyer out due to injury, middle blockers Anna Kropf and Summer Brown set the tone at the net for the Blue Devils. As a senior, Kropf enjoyed a career season, totaling 132 blocks and 210 kills. Kropf averaged a career-high 1.10 blocks per set to rank 10th in the ACC, totaling 4.0 or more blocks in 16 matches. Against NC State Nov. 22, she amassed 14.0 blocks, the second-highest single match total in program history. Brown ranked second on the team behind Kropf with 100 blocks and averaged 0.97 blocks per set in her rookie season that ended with ACC All-Freshman Team honors. Among ACC freshmen, Brown ranked second in total blocks, trailing only Florida State’s Taylor Knuth.

Duke ran a 6-2 system in 2017 featuring setters Emma Paradiso and Sarah Nelson. Those two helped seven Blue Devil hitters put down 100 or more kills on the season. Both Paradiso and Nelson dished out 600-plus assists on the year as Duke ranked third in the ACC in assists per set (12.94) and fourth in kills per set (13.64). In addition to outside hitters Cadie Bates and Payton Schwantz, Duke received key contributions from its rightside hitters, led by sophomore Samantha Amos. Amos ranked third on the team with 268 kills and hit .252, totaling 13 matches with 10 or more kills to go along with 12 contests with 4.0 or more blocks.

Head coach Jolene Nagel earned her 600th career victory Sept. 9 at TCU as the Blue Devils downed the Horned Frogs in straight sets. With the win, Nagel became the 22nd active NCAA Division I head coach to reach 600 career victories and joined Florida State’s Chris Poole and North Carolina’s Joe Sagula as the only three ACC coaches to reach the milestone. For her coaching career, Nagel owns a 612-345 record with stints at Cornell, Georgetown and Duke. In 19 seasons with the Blue Devils, Nagel owns a 411-205 record including a 249-107 mark in the ACC.

Jessi Bartholomew Duke Athlete of the Week (11/1)
Cadie Bates: Second Team All-ACC
Cadie Bates: Duke Athlete of the Week (11/27)
Cadie Bates: PrepVolleyball Player of the Week (11/7)
Cadie Bates: Duke Athlete of the Week (8/31)
Cadie Bates: Fight in the Fort at TCU All-Tournament
Summer Brown: ACC All-Freshman Team
Nicole Elattrache: Fight in the Fort at TCU MVP
Leah Meyer: Preseason All-ACC’
Payton Schwantz: ACC All-Freshman Team
Payton Schwantz: ACC Freshman of the Week (Sept. 11)
Payton Schwantz: Fight in the Fort at TCU All-Tournament
Payton Schwantz: Duke Invitational All-Tournament Team

Cadie Bates: 20 kills (8/25 at Colorado State)

20+ DIGS
Cadie Bates: 21 digs (10/15 vs. Florida State)
Cadie Bates: 32 digs (11/3 vs. Notre Dame)
Cadie Bates: 20 digs (11/5 vs. Louisville)
Cadie Bates: 22 digs (11/22 vs. NC State)
Nicole Elattrache: 24 digs (8/25 vs. Colorado State)
Nicole Elattrache: 29 digs (9/9 vs. Lehigh)
Nicole Elattrache: 20 digs (9/28 vs. Syracuse)
Nicole Elattrache: 24 digs (10/6 at North Carolina)
Nicole Elattrache: 29 digs (11/3 vs. Notre Dame)
Nicole Elattrache: 23 digs (11/5 vs. Louisville)
Nicole Elattrache: 21 digs (11/8 at Wake Forest)
Nicole Elattrache: 28 digs (11/22 vs. NC State)

Cadie Bates: 20 kills 10 digs (8/25 at Colorado State)
Cadie Bates: 10 kills, 18 digs (8/26 vs. UCF)
Cadie Bates: 13 kills, 11 digs (9/1 vs. UNCW)
Cadie Bates: 12 kills, 10 digs (9/9 vs. Utah Valley)
Cadie Bates: 12 kills, 15 digs (9/24 vs. Georgia Tech)
Cadie Bates: 12 kills, 16 digs (9/28 vs. Syracuse
Cadie Bates: 14 kills, 13 digs (10/1 vs. Boston College)
Cadie Bates: 10 kills, 13 digs (10/8, at NC State)
Cadie Bates: 18 kills, 18 digs (10/13 vs. Miami)
Cadie Bates: 13 kills, 21 digs (10/15 vs. Florida State)
Cadie Bates: 10 kills, 12 digs (10/20 at Virginia)
Cadie Bates: 17 kills, 32 digs (11/3 vs. Notre Dame)
Cadie Bates: 14 kills, 20 digs (11/5 vs. Louisville)
Cadie Bates: 10 kills, 10 digs (11/12 at Pitt)
Cadie Bates: 18 kills, 13 digs (11/19 at Syracuse)
Cadie Bates: 14 kills, 22 digs (11/22 vs. NC State)
Cadie Bates: 14 kills, 11 digs (11/24 vs. North Carolina)
Sarah Nelson: 13 assists, 10 digs (9/1 vs. UNCW)
Sarah Nelson: 26 assists, 13 digs (10/15 vs. FSU)
Sarah Nelson: 26 assists, 14 digs (10/27 at Georgia Tech)
Sarah Nelson: 32 assists, 12 digs (11/3 vs. Notre Dame)
Sarah Nelson: 42 assists, 13 digs (11/5 vs. Louisville)
Sarah Nelson: 23 assists, 11 digs (11/22 vs. NC State)
Emma Paradiso: 32 assists, 10 digs (9/1 at Colorado State)
Emma Paradiso: 24 assists, 17 digs (9/9 vs. Lehigh)
Payton Schwantz: 11 kills, 12 digs (9/1 vs. UNCW)
Payton Schwantz: 14 kills, 13 digs (11/3 vs. Notre Dame)
Payton Schwantz: 11 kills, 12 digs (11/19 at Syracuse)