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Balanced Effort Gives Duke 3-1 Win Over Virginia Tech
Tuesday 11/05/2011  -  Duke Sports Information
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Courtesy: Duke Photography
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Kellie Catanach

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.

Duke's offense came from all around as Gray led the way with 13 kills, Sophia Dunworth added 12, Amanda Robertson chipped in nine and Jeme Obeime tagged eight.

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.

-d-u-k-e-


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