DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke volleyball team is set for its final home matches of the season as the Blue Devils play host to ACC leaders No. 13 Florida State and Miami this week. Duke and FSU meet Thursday, November 8 at 7 p.m., followed by a Saturday match against Miami at 7 p.m. Thursday's contest can be seen live on ESPN3 while the Blue Devil Network will stream Saturday's match.
Duke (14-13, 5-10 ACC) began the month of November with a road trip to Boston College and Maryland. The Blue Devils downed the Eagles 3-2 Friday, but fell to the Terps by the same score Sunday. Freshman Elizabeth Campbell was Duke's top performer for the weekend, totaling a team-high 33 kills to go along with 26 digs and five blocks.
For the season, freshman Emily Sklar and senior Christiana Gray lead the Blue Devils' with 265 kills each. Sklar's average of 3.05 kills per set ranks 10th in the ACC while the rookie also leads the team with nine double-doubles and is second with 194 digs. With 1,060 career kills, Gray is 21st player in Duke history to knock down 1,000 career kills. The senior from Carmel, Ind., ranks 20th in the school record books and is 42 kills shy of the No. 19 spot, currently held by Sylvia Thomson.
Libero Ali McCurdy picked up where she left off in 2011 and again leads the conference in digs (579) and digs per set (5.46). The 5-7 junior has totaled at least 20 digs in 15 of Duke's 27 matches and has reached 30 digs three times this season, including a 37-dig performance in a four-set match at Miami. With 1,852 career digs, McCurdy ranks second all-time at Duke.
Duke holds a 35-13 advantage over Florida State (22-3, 13-2 ACC) in the all-time series. However, the Seminoles have won six of the past seven meetings, including a 3-1 decision earlier this season in Tallahassee. The Seminoles, who saw their 16-match win streak snapped at North Carolina last Sunday, are currently tied with Miami atop the ACC standings. Florida State leads the conference in both hitting percentage (.287) and kills per set (14.30) while ranking second in blocks per set (2.85). Ashley Neff leads the league in blocks (1.62 bps) and trails only teammate Sareea Freeman (.456) in hitting percentage (.418).
The Blue Devils are 10-6 against Miami (21-4, 13-2 ACC) in the all-time series. The Hurricanes have won the past three contests after defeating Duke 3-1 earlier this season in Coral Gables. Miami boasts the ACC's top defense, limiting opponents to .167 hitting on the season. The Hurricanes also lead the league in blocks (2.93 bps) and assists (13.22 aps). Emani Sims ranks in the top-10 in the conference in both hitting percentage (.345) and blocks per set (1.34 bps).
Duke wraps up the 2012 regular season with three straight road contests. The Blue Devils travel to Georgia Tech and Clemson November 15 and 16, then face Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C., November 20.
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