DURHAM, N.C. – Entering the 47th season in program history, the Duke volleyball team hits the road to open the 2019 campaign this weekend at the College of Charleston Classic in Charleston, S.C. The Blue Devils will face Michigan State Friday at 4:30 p.m., in TD Arena before taking on the 2018 national champions, No. 1 Stanford, on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Fans can catch the action live on FloVolleyball for a fee.
Following the program’s 20th NCAA Tournament appearance, the Blue Devils concluded the 2018 season with a 16-12 overall record and went 10-8 in conference play. In addition to the five newcomers, Duke returns 11 letterwinners from this past season’s squad, including All-ACC Freshman Team selection Ade Owokoniran. Additionally, the Blue Devils return five of last year’s eight starters in Lily Cooper, Payton Schwantz, Mackenzie Cole, Samantha Amos and Sarah Nelson.
This weekend’s matches mark the first between the two schools since 2015 and the Blue Devils trail 2-1 to the Spartans and 5-0 to the Cardinal. In its last meeting in Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke fell 3-0 to Michigan State on September 19 after losing by a close margin to Stanford (3-2) on September 11.
Stanford is ranked No. 1 to start the season for the second straight year and holds the AVCA’s No. 1 ranking for the 74th time in program history. The Cardinal won an unprecedented eighth NCAA title in 2018 and carries a 32-match winning streak into 2019. Stanford returns five All-Americans, including two-time AVCA Player of the Year Kathryn Plummer. Joining Plummer on the first team were setter Jenna Gray and libero Morgan Hentz. Stanford’s freshman class was rated No. 1 in the nation and boasts four of the top-10 recruits according to VolleyballMag.com.
Michigan State finished last season 17-16 in the Big Ten. The Spartans return 14 letterwinners from the 2018 squad, but lose 2018 Team MVP Maddie Haggerty. The Spartans were selected ninth in the preseason Big Ten coaches poll.
Following the opening weekend of competition, the Blue Devils will host Charlotte Tuesday, September 3 for a 6:30 p.m., match in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
For more information on Duke volleyball, follow the Blue Devils on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for “DukeVB”. You can also find all-access coverage of all Duke athletic programs on SnapChat by searching for “dukeathletics”.