CHARLESTON, S.C. – Duke fell to No. 1 Stanford 3-0 (19-25, 14-25, 24-26) Saturday evening in TD Arena to close out the College of Charleston Classic in Charleston, S.C.
“Going into this weekend, we knew we were going to be challenged,” head coach Jolene Nagel said. “I am very happy to say our team is going to grow much more quickly as a result than if we had played easier opponents. We learned a lot about ourselves playing Stanford and Michigan State. Today we competed against the reigning national champions and our team showed some grit. Our team also displayed a team mentality this weekend as several different players were called on to compete and they did just that with the opportunity. All great stuff for an opening weekend as we work to get better every time we step on the court.”
As a team, Stanford hit .432 percent for the match with just six attack errors as Duke hit .205.
The 2018 national champion Cardinal came out strong to dominate the match and hit .517 in the first set and .417 in the second.
The Blue Devils fought back hard in the third set with a back-and-forth scoring battle. Duke won five straight points to edge the Cardinal 20-17 with kills from rookie Lizzie Fleming and junior Payton Schwantz to force a Stanford timeout. A Duke service error and a couple kills allowed Stanford right back in it before consecutive kills from Owokoniran. The Blue Devils were unable to hold off the No. 1 team in the country and suffered their second loss of the early season.
“It was fun to see our team turn the table in the third set and begin making things happen for ourselves,” Nagel said. “We were passing better, playing better defense and transitioning successfully which allowed us to score. We were a completely different team in the third set.”
Duke was outmatched at the net as Stanford registered 12 total blocks to Duke’s three. Kathryn Plummer headlined the offense for Stanford with 12 kills and a .455 hitting percentage.
Duke will return to action Tuesday, Sept. 3 to host Charlotte for a 6:30 p.m., contest in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
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