DURHAM, N.C. -Ali McCurdy amassed 29 digs over just three sets to lead Duke to a 3-0 (25-20,
25-19, 25-21) win over NC State in a dominant defensive effort on Friday
evening in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The win is the sixth straight for the Blue
Devils (14-6, 8-3 ACC), who trail Florida State by three matches for first
place in the ACC.
McCurdy successfully guarded Duke's side of the
court and averaged 9.67 digs per set in the win as the Blue Devils held the
Wolfpack to a .089 hitting percentage. The All-ACC libero leads the ACC in digs
and digs per set and ranked 12th nationally in the category entering
the week. With the performance, she improved her season average to 5.71 digs
per set which would vault her into the NCAA's top 10 this season.
Senior Amanda Robertson and freshman Jeme Obeime provided
the bulk of Duke's offense with 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Robertson
notched her sixth double-double of the year with 14 digs while Obeime hit .375
with just one error on 24 attacks. Senior Sophia Dunworth added nine kills and
eight digs to finish just shy of what would have been her fourth double-double
of the last three weeks.
Duke setter Kellie Catanach continued her quest to 5,000
assists with 34 more against the Wolfpack. With 4,925 in her career, she needs
just 75 more to become only the third player in Duke history to reach that
The Wolfpack tried a balanced offensive attack that saw
five players take at least 20 attacks. Margaret Salata was the most
successful of the group with nine kills,
but NC State had only 32 kills - compared to 20 attack errors - for the match.
McCurdy picked up 11 digs in the first set to key a
strong defensive effort that helped Duke edge NC State 25-20 in the opener. The
Wolfpack hit just .098 against the Blue Devils and gave up a late 19-18 lead
after committing four attack errors.
Duke's offense took over in the second set as the Blue
Devils - led by nine kills from Obeime - hit .317 with 18 kills to take a 2-0
lead. Obeime finished 6-for-9 without an attack error and was one of four Blue
Devils with multiple kills. McCurdy picked up 12 more digs, giving her 23 in
the first two sets.
Catanach set heavily to Robertson in game three and the
senior right side hitter responded with six kills on a .455 hitting percentage
to key a 25-21 third-set victory. NC State gave Duke a fight, tying the score
at 19-19, but could not hold off Duke for long as the Blue Devils ended the
match with a 6-2 run that included kills from Dunworth and Robertson and a
match-clinching block from Robertson and Christiana Gray.
Duke will hit the road next weekend for a difficult road
trip to Clemson and Georgia Tech on Oct. 28-30. The Blue Devils defeated both
opponents at home earlier in the year, but needed a 25-23 fifth-set win over
Clemson to secure the victory.
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