DURHAM, N.C. - All-ACC middle blocker Christiana Gray
hammered 13 kills and totaled six blocks to help Duke take down Virginia Tech
3-1 (25-23, 19-25, 25-16, 25-19) on Saturday evening in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
The win was Duke's 22nd over an ACC opponent at home.
Gray hit .407 for the match with just two errors on 27
attacks. She recorded at least three blocks for the seventh straight match and
now owns a .395 hitting percentage for the season.
All-American setter Kellie Catanach recorded her second
straight double-double for Duke (17-7, 11-4 ACC) with 45 assists and 14 digs.
She also added four kills and four blocks and moved into second place on Duke's
all-time digs list. Her 5,097 assists surpassed the 5,082 by former Blue Devil Kristen
Campbell and leave her behind only 2006 ACC Player of the Year Ali Hausfeld.
"We're excited to get these two matches this weekend at
home," Duke head coach Jolene Nagel said. "This was really a great team effort,
and it was exciting to see so many contributions tonight.
"I thought our blocking started strong at the beginning
of the match, and then we kind of lost it a little bit but ended up pretty good
toward the end. It was definitely a strength for us tonight. I also thought we
served pretty well, especially after game two."
Duke and Virginia Tech (13-13, 6-9 ACC) split the first
two sets before Duke pulled it together to roll the Hokies in games three and
four. The Blue Devils locked up the Hokie offense and held them to a .059
hitting percentage in set three and a .179 clip for the match.
The Blue Devils posted 12 blocks - including four each
from Catanach and sophomore Chelsea Cook - and All-ACC libero Ali McCurdy added
25 more digs to her season total. She now has an ACC-leading 524 digs this
season, which already ranks as the eighth highest single season total in school
history. McCurdy, who leads the ACC and ranks among the top 10 nationally in
digs per set, has the highest digs per set average in school history and is on
pace to break Duke's career dig records.
Gray gave Duke the edge in the first set, breaking a
23-23 tie with back-to-back kills to lock up a 25-23 win. She finished 6-for-10
in that set without an attack error. Virginia Tech fought back to win set two
25-19, however, despite a late Duke rally that saw the Blue Devils fight off
three match point opportunities. Virginia Tech went ahead 24-16, and Duke
scored three straight points - including
two kills from Megan Hendrickson - but the Hokies eventually got a kill from
Cara Baarendse to lock up the win and tie the match.
Set three was all Duke, however, as the Blue Devils held
Virginia Tech to a .059 hitting percentage. Duke built a 19-10 lead thanks to
Gray, who went 4-for-8 without an error, and Nailah Waterfield and McCurdy whose
combined floor defense forced the Hokies into seven attack errors.
Virginia Tech had no shot at stopping Duke's offense in
game four as the Blue Devils hit .447 with 19 kills and only two attack errors.
Dunworth and Obeime combined for 11 of those kills, and Catanach saw 17 of her
31 sets go down for kills.
Duke continues its homestand this Thursday and Sunday,
Nov. 10-13, against ACC powerhouses Miami and No. 18 Florida State.
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