DURHAM – The Duke volleyball program hits the road for its first pair of ACC road contests this weekend. The Blue Devils will face No.2 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.
Duke threw up his ACC slate and went 1-1 over the weekend at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils swept Boston College on Friday before losing a 3-0 game to Syracuse on Sunday. Libero Mackenzie cole recorded 35 smuggler searches Alex springate 53 assists. Duke hit 0.289 percent in the win over Boston College with an 18-block record to help limit the Eagles to a .029 clip.
TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE SERIES
PITT: Duke and Pitt will meet for the 21st time in program history as the Panthers are 12-8. The last time the Blue Devils won a victory over the Panthers was on October 28, 2018 with a 3-1 dub against No.5 Pitt at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke is 4-3 in Pittsburgh.
VIRGINIA: Duke holds a solid 55-13 lead in series history and has eight straight wins. The two teams met twice in 2020 during the fall portion of the COVID-19 calendar and got two sweeps, one in Charlottesville and one in Durham. Duke has 25-7 in Charlottesville.
SEARCH FOR OPPONENTS
PITT: No.2 Pitt just swept Virginia 3-0 on Wednesday and starts the weekend with a 13-0 record (3-0 ACC). They are ranked in the top five in seven different ACC stat categories, leading the way in kills (4th, 672) and assists (3rd, 621). Offensively, the Panthers are led by Chinaza Ndee (150 eliminations) and Kayla Lund (142 eliminations) on two occasions. Passers Lexis Akeo and Kylee Levers split the time and had more than 500 assists as Pitt reached 0.270% as a team. At net, the Panthers have four with over 20 blocks, led by Serena Gray at 56.0. Lund is ranked 20th in the NCAA Active Career Rankings with 1,481 career wins.
VIRGINIA: The Cavaliers (8-5, 1-2 ACC) are swept 3-0 at Pitt’s No.2. Virginia is second in the ACC in Blocks (140.0) and is led by graduate student Alana Walker (83.0) who transferred to Virginia from Northwestern for her final year of eligibility. Virginia is ranked 13th in the country for total number of blocks. Offensively, the Cavaliers are led by Grace Turner (134 kills) and Brooklyn Borum (120 kills) while passer Ashley Le has 251 assists. As a team, Virginia reached 0.182 percent.
COLE IS RANKED AMONG THE BEST
Senior Libero Mackenzie cole is ranked 29th on the NCAA’s Active Career Leaders list with 1,442 career searches to date. She needs 171 to get into the top 20. She is also currently ranked eighth on the Duke charts of all time.
Cole was one of Duke’s top defensive specialists during his time at Durham and has 19 games with over 20 digs. Her career high of 29 came against North Carolina on November 17, 2018. She also has 104 serving aces, becoming the 18th player in Duke history to reach the milestone. This season, she has 205 digs for an average of 4.5 digs / set to lead the ACC and helps the team to place seventh.
ON THE FAST TRACK
With an overall record of 10-3 (1-1 ACC), Duke is having his best start since the 2013 season, when the Blue Devils were crowned ACC champions with a final record of 28-5 (18-2 ACC). ). Nagel’s team also reached the second round of the NCAA tournament that year.
The Blue Devils started the 2021 roster with back-to-back five-set games and since then Duke has only played in two sets that have gone beyond three: Howard, 4 sets (9/3) and Michigan, 5 sets (9/10). In 2020-21, Duke made seven appearances in five sets and went 1-6.
Duke will return to Cameron Indoor Stadium to host Miami and Florida State on October 8-10 for a pair of ACC games. Both competitions will be broadcast on ACCNX.
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