Duke tops NC State in volleyball, closes in on title

From News ReleasesNovember 27, 2013 

— Behind a stellar performance from senior libero Ali McCurdy, the 15th-ranked Duke volleyball team clinched a share of the ACC championship Wednesday, defeating N.C. State 3-1 (25-20, 25-14, 20-25, 25-18) at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

With a one-game lead over North Carolina and Florida State heading into the season finale, Duke has the opportunity to win the league title outright Friday at home against the Tar Heels. The match will start at 3 p.m. and admission is free.

McCurdy anchored a solid defensive outing by the Blue Devils. She matched her career high with 37 digs, extending her ACC-record career total to 2,463.

Duke (26-4, 17-2) also got a career-high-tying seven blocks from freshman middle blocker Jordan Tucker to help hold the N.C. State (20-11, 11-8) offense in check for much of the match.

“We’re really happy we got this win today,” coach Jolene Nagel said. “N.C. State plays tremendous defense. They keep the ball alive forever, they keep coming at you and they’re a great team. (N.C. State) has a lot of great hitters, so I was pleased with how our team executed on the block and on defense.”

Sophomore outside Emily Sklar added a career-high 21 kills and season-high 19 digs. In addition, setter Maggie Deichmeister had 49 assists and 10 digs, and rightside hitter Elizabeth Campbell hit .400 with 14 kills, nine digs and four blocks.

North Carolina 3, Wake Forest 0: Victoria McPherson had 13 kills and seven blocks to lead North Carolina to a 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-17) sweep at Wake Forest.

Improving to 27-3, 16-3 ACC, the Tar Heels have the most wins since the 2002 ACC championship squad went 32-4.

“This was a really important win for us today to get on the road,” coach Joe Sagula said. “Wake Forest always has a challenging offense to defend, and I think we did a good job of that today. We competed hard and responded well to the pressure of our final two matches.”

McPherson, who finished with a solid .333 attack, nearly tied her career highs of 14 kills and eight blocks. Jovana Bjelica added nine kills and four blocks, and Hayley McCorkle had seven kills with three blocks.

Jazmen Russell led Wake Forest (15-16, 4-15) in kills with 12 and Kylie Hargreaves added nine. Sophia Dodd recorded 29 assists. Megan Miller led the team with nine digs.

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