DURHAM, N.C. – Sophomore Elizabeth Campbell tied a career-high with 25 kills to lead the Duke volleyball team past South Carolina 3-1 (25-22, 20-25, 25-17, 25-21) Saturday afternoon in the 2013 Duke Invitational finale at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Campbell’s 25 kills matched her career high from Nov. 11, 2012 against Miami as the sophomore hit .422 for the match and added eight digs and three blocks. Campbell was one of four Blue Devils in double-digit kills. Junior Jeme Obeime added a season-high 17, while sophomore Emily Sklar had 13 and senior Chelsea Cook totaled 10. Junior Maggie Deichmeister dished out a season-high 56 assists to go along with 12 digs for her third double-double of the season.
“It feels really great,” said Deichmeister. “We were really challenged and we pushed back. It’s a really great win for us. The second set, they really challenged us on the block. We had to mix it up and adjust a few things.”
Duke opened the match with a 17-12 advantage in the first set, but South Carolina rallied with a 6-0 run out of a timeout to take the lead. Undeterred, the Blue Devils were able to regroup and won the frame 25-22. Duke’s top target in the stanza, Campbell knocked down 10 kills in the set.
The Blue Devils struggled to maintain their rhythm in the second set as the Gamecocks utilized eight of their 14 team blocks to stymie the Duke attack. Duke hits a match-low .114 for the stanza and South Carolina tied the match 1-1.
Duke dominated the third set, hitting .455 en route to a 25-17 victory. Sklar totaled seven kills on 10 errorless attempts to lead the Blue Devils. The momentum from the third set carried over and Duke captured the fourth stanza 25-21 behind six kills from Campbell to clinch the match. After committing 23 attack errors over the first two frames, Duke had just seven combined in the final two sets.
“I think we really had to work out there,” said head coach Jolene Nagel. “South Carolina did a good job of forcing us to make some errors. I love the way our team came out in game three and put some pressure on them. It was huge that we were able to do that. We adjusted well. It was a good test. I was pleased the way our team persevered. We had too many hitting errors, most of it because of their block. We needed to go after it more. We needed to want it, to be more aggressive.”
Senior Ali McCurdy chipped in with 18 digs as Duke totaled 71 kills to 43 for the Gamecocks. Juliette Thevenin led South Carolina with 15 kills, followed by Sarah Blomgren with 10. Cook and McCurdy both took home all-tournament teams honors at the conclusion of the match.
Duke welcomes two Big Ten opponents to Cameron Indoor Stadium next weekend. The Blue Devils take on Indiana Friday, Sept. 20 before facing Illinois Saturday, Sept. 21.