ATLANTA – Senior libero Ali McCurdy picked up a match-high 16 digs to become the program’s all-time digs leader, helping the 24th-ranked Duke volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-20) victory over Georgia Tech Friday evening at O’Keefe Gymnasium.
McCurdy surpassed the six-year old record of 2,200 digs set by Jenny Shull on Oct. 4, 2007. The Tampa, Fla., native also moved into third place on the all-time ACC list with 2,208 digs during her collegiate career. McCurdy leads Duke (15-3, 6-1 ACC) with 263 digs this season and has recorded 10 or more digs in 46 consecutive matches.
“Ali [McCurdy] was solid tonight as she is on so many nights," said head coach Jolene Nagel. "She really serve received well and provided a lot of stability on defense to get the digs and help us in transition to be able to score. She was definitely playing well tonight and it was exiciting for her to secure the Duke record."
Sophomore Emily Sklar paced Duke offensively, amassing 10 kills and 12 digs for her first double-double of the season. A 6-3 outside hitter from San Jose, Calif., Sklar has registered 10 or more kills in 10 straight matches for the Blue Devils.
Junior setter Maggie Deichmeister orchestrated a balanced offensive attack, tossing up 35 assists to go along with six digs and three blocks. Duke totaled 43 kills to 26 for Georgia Tech (7-12, 1-6 ACC) as five Duke players chipped in with seven or more kills. Sophomore Elizabeth Campbell added nine kills, while the trio of senior Chelsea Cook, junior Jeme Obeime and freshman Jordan Tucker combined for 22.
“[I'm] really excited to see our team go in here and come out with a win," added Nagel. "Georgia Tech is a great environment to play volleyball in. They’re a team that can be red hot. They’re young, but they are capable of serving the ball very tough. I was pleased our team was able to push back tonight and get the win."
Taking the court for the first time as a ranked team this season, the Blue Devils found themselves down 5-1 early in the opening frame. However, Duke would rally behind six errorless kills from Cook to claim the set, 25-21. A 9-1 run midway through the game gave the Blue Devils a 20-15 advantage they would not relinquish the rest of the way.
Duke’s momentum carried over into the second frame, which the Blue Devils claimed by an identical score, 25-21. The Blue Devils staked a 9-4 lead to start the set and grew their advantage to seven points at 17-10 following a Campbell kill. Georgia Tech rallied late, cutting the Duke lead to three at 24-21 before a Sklar kill gave Duke a 2-0 overall lead.
Duke broke a 14-all tie in game three with a Campbell kill, igniting a 7-2 Blue Devil spurt. Tucker put down two of her seven kills on the night over the final five points, including the final kill of match, to give Duke the game, 25-20. Tucker also added a team-high four blocks on the night, bringing her season total to 51.
Senior outside hitter Jennifer Percy led the Yellow Jacket offense with nine kills, while freshman libero London Ackermann totaled 12 digs in the loss.
Duke concludes its current four-match road swing with a trip to Clemson Sunday, Oct. 20 for a 1 p.m. tilt against the Tigers.