STANFORD, Calif. – After earning the 20th NCAA Championship bid in program history, Duke is prepped to take on Loyola Marymount in the first round of the tournament Friday, November 30. The Blue Devils and the Lions meet at 7:30 p.m. (EST) from Stanford’s Maples Pavilion.
A win over LMU (20-9, 10-8 WCC) would pit Duke (16-11, 10-8 ACC) against the winner of a first-round contest between Alabama State (23-17, 16-2 SWAC) and No. 1 seed Stanford (28-1, 20-0 Pac-12). That second round matchup is slated for a 9 p.m. (EST) opening serve Saturday, December 1.
The Blue Devils make their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2014. Duke is 10-9 in NCAA opening round contests and 13-19 all-time in the postseason event.
First team All-ACC selections Leah Meyer and Andie Shelton are key reasons to Duke’s return to the NCAA Tournament. A redshirt junior middle blocker, Meyer has been a presence at the net all season, ranking third in the ACC and 15th nationally in blocks per set while hitting .373 with 267 kills. Playing all six rotations as both a setter and a hitter. Shelton enters the tournament as the national leader in triple-doubles (6) and leads the Blue Devils in assists (560) and service aces (31), adding 212 kills, 207 digs and 77 blocks.
Underclassmen outside hitters Payton Schwantz and Ade Owokoniran own a combined 544 kills on the year. Schwantz leads the team with 296 kills to go along with 245 digs, while Owokoniran earned a nod on the ACC All-Freshman Team following a 248-kill rookie season.
Loyola Marymount makes its first NCAA Tournament appearance since its Round of 16 run in 2015, earning an at-large bid to the 2018 postseason event. The Lions began the 2012, 2014 and 2015 NCAA Tournaments in the Stanford Regional and defeated then-No. 6 Stanford to win the 2015 region. LMU’s opposite hitter Sara Kovac and setter Tess Reid both earned All-West Coast Conference honors as the Lions joined BYU and Pepperdine as the only schools with multiple All-WCC representatives.
Friday’s contest is the seventh all-time meeting between Duke and Loyola Marymount. The Lions leads the series 4-2, including a win in the teams’ most recent encounter in 2017.
NCAA Championship First & Second Round Schedule
Friday, Nov. 30, 2018: Loyola Marymount vs. Duke (7:30 p.m. – Stanford Live Stream)
Friday, Nov. 30, 2018: Alabama State vs. Stanford (10 p.m. – Pac-12 Plus)
Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner (9 p.m. – Pac-12 Networks)