DURHAM – The Duke volleyball team fell to Syracuse, 3-0 (22-25, 18-25, 25-27), Sunday afternoon at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
With the setback, the Blue Devils plunge to 10-3 (1-1 ACC) while the Orange improve to 12-2 (1-1 ACC).
The Orange ranked second in the country in batting percentage and today it was no exception as it hit 0.359% for the game. Marina Markova and Polina Shemanova punctuated the attack, combining 33 kills.
“We hope this first ACC game will turn into a very valuable experience that we will learn from and progress better,” the head coach Jolene nagel noted.
Duke was led offensively by the elder Ade Owokoniran with 11 kills, while the second Georgia Stavrinides counted seven and no errors to reach 0.538 percent. Rylie kadel and Gracie johnson also added six points as Duke hit 0.221 percent as a team. Setter Alex springate 26 assists and libero Mackenzie cole curled 17 hits on the powerful Syracuse outside hitters. At net, Stavrinides also added three blocks to Johnson’s two.
Both teams came out of the gate quickly with solid hitting percentages as the Orange held a 20-17 lead, forcing Nagel to request a time-out. Stavrinides won on both sides of the ball with a kill before teaming up with Johnson to block, allowing Duke to come close to a (21-20). The two serve errors were traded, but Markova was there with another kill to take the set.
Syracuse came out in the second set to hit 0.459% with 20 kills and just three errors.
The third and final set featured eight tie points and four changes of lead in the round-trip affair. Syracuse took an early 5-1 lead, but Duke recovered to tie it at 12. There were five ties in the last nine points of the game. Owokoniran and Markova fought back and forth, but Duke couldn’t hold back the Syracuse outside hitters.
In addition to Markova and Shemanova, passer Elena Karakasi delivered 42 assists while three Orange players recorded double-digit recoveries.
Duke hits the road for his first pair of ACC road races. The Blue Devils will face No.4 Pitt on Friday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. in Pittsburgh before a 3 p.m. game against Virginia on Sunday. Sunday’s game in Charlottesville will air on ACCN.
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