DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke volleyball team opened its 2019 home slate with a victory Tuesday evening over Charlotte, 3-0 (29-27, 25-17, 25-17) in Cameron Indoor Stadium. With the win, the Blue Devils improve to 1-2 as the 49ers dip to 3-1.
“We are trying to come together with good team culture and a winning culture,” head coach Jolene Nagel said. “We have a nice feel to this team … how they’re supporting each other, challenging each other and working hard every day. Tonight was great to get a win in Cameron going into this weekend with a home tournament. I’m really pleased with the efforts of these young women. It’s our goal to continue to grow every time we step on the court. I have faith in this group.”
The Blue Devils were once again led by sophomore outside hitter Ade Owokoniran as she tallied 14 kills to hit .312 for the contest. Setters Sarah Nelson and Camille Nazor dished 35 assists total as Nelson accounted for 19.
The 49ers came out strong in the first set with 14 blocks as Tyra Galloway picked up five quickly before Duke junior Summer Brown added four of her own in the second set.
Duke came out swinging in the third set and hit .424 as Owokoniran and Payton Schwantz tallied five kills each to pace the Blue Devil offense. The Blue Devils held a short 13-12 nearing midway through the third frame before going on an 8-3 run. Duke tallied its first win of the 2019 season with a big block from Nazor and sophomore Lily Cooper to end the match, Cooper’s seventh of the night to lead the team.
Defensively, Duke was led by libero Mackenzie Cole with 22 digs, her first 20+ dig performance this year. Charlotte was led by Sydney Rowan with 11 kills.
Duke remains home to host the first of two tournaments this weekend in Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils will face Wofford Friday, Sept. 6 at noon to kick off the Duke Invitational.
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