DURHAM, N.C. – With the start of the 48th season in program history two months away, head coach Jolene Nagel revealed the 2018 Duke volleyball schedule Wednesday.
The 30-match regular-season campaign runs from August to November and features 14 contests against opponents who participated in the 2017 NCAA Tournament. In addition, over half the Blue Devils’ 2018 opposition finished this past season with 20 or more wins.
“Our 2018 schedule is set and looks to be a challenge both in non-conference play and ACC action,” said Nagel. “Scheduling is vital for postseason opportunities and we feel fortunate to open against a quality opponent in BYU. There are no easy matches in the ACC and our conference schedule, especially with the travel and road environments, will put us to the test. It’s certainly a grind and we hope to keep our team fresh and scrapping the whole way.”
Beginning with 2017 NCAA quarterfinalist BYU, Duke’s non-conference schedule pits the Blue Devils against 11 teams from 10 different conferences. The Blue Devils face the Cougars twice over the season’s opening weekend, hosting BYU in Cameron Indoor Stadium for the first of 18 home matches.
The first month of the season sees Duke take on four teams for the first time in program history in South Florida, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Cincinnati and North Dakota State. The Blue Devils also battle more familiar foes LSU, UNCG, Coastal Carolina, East Tennessee State and Elon before concluding the preseason slate with a non-conference home match versus North Carolina, the first of three meetings in 2018 between the Tar Heels and the Blue Devils.
The ACC schedule opens on the road for the 2018 Blue Devils, sending Duke to Florida State and Miami the third weekend in September. Over the course of 18 league matches, Duke has home-and-home series with North Carolina, Miami, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. The Blue Devils see Boston College, Syracuse, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Virginia at home only, while taking on Florida State, Louisville, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and NC State in singular road matches.
The Blue Devils posted a 19-12 (11-9 ACC) record in 2017, the 19th under Nagel’s direction. In addition to five incoming freshmen, Duke returns nine letterwinners from this past season’s squad, including ACC All-Freshman Team selections Payton Schwantz and Summer Brown.
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