DURHAM, NC – Entering the 51st season in the program’s history, the Duke volleyball team will open the 2021 campaign this weekend at the Coastal Carolina Invitational. The Blue Devils face the Chanticleers on Friday, August 27 at 6 p.m., before facing Iowa on Saturday, August 28 at 1 p.m. at the HTC Center.
The Blue Devils closed the 2020-21 season with a 9-13 overall record and a 7-10 conference record. Entering his 23rd season at the helm of the program, the head coach Jolene nagel returns 11 team winners from last season, including All-ACC caps Mackenzie cole, Ade Owokoniran and Payton Schwantz, in addition to five new arrivals. During his tenure as Duke, Nagel led the Blue Devils to 13 NCAA tournament appearances and 14 seasons with 20 or more wins.
Duke hosted North Carolina A&T on Thursday August 19 for an exhibition game as the Blue Devils claimed a 3-0 victory.
TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE SERIES
Coastal Carolina: Friday marks the fourth all-time meeting between the two teams as Duke holds a 3-0 record. When they last met in 2018, the Blue Devils won a 3-0 home victory.
Iowa: Duke is 1-2 overall against Iowa and the two teams haven’t met since 2003. In a five-set thriller in their last outing, Iowa earned a 3-2 victory.
SEARCH FOR OPPONENTS
Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleers have had an impressive 2020-21 season with an 18-1, 16-0 record in the Sun Belt. The Chanticleers return one of their best hitters from last season to Ani Bozdeva, who had 177 kills for a 0.274 hitting percentage. Their top passer Brigitta Petrenko also returns with 536 assists / set last year with blockers Christina Nance and Ilse Sinnige.
Iowa: Duke is 1-2 overall against Iowa and the two teams haven’t met since 2003. In a five-set thriller in their last outing, Iowa earned a 3-2 victory. The Hawkeyes welcome back their top five hitters from last year, including Courtney Buzzerio, who led the team with 184 kills and 323 assists.
In addition to All-ACC returnees Mackenzie cole, Ade Owokoniran and Payton Schwantz, the head coach Jolene nagel welcomes seniors again Lily cooper and Alex springate, juniors Lizzie fleming, Gracie johnson, Camille Nazor and Moorea wood and second year students Georgia Stavrinides and Sydney yap.
Duke adds five newcomers to graduate student Taylor Cole, sister of Mackenzie, and freshmen Ngozi Iloh, Rylie kadel, Rachel richardson and Nikki underwood.
BACK TO ACTION
Nagel returns almost his entire attack of the 2020-21 season, led by Ade Owokoniran (243 killed), Gracie johnson (223 killed) and Payton Schwantz (160 killed).
Duke’s defense is also set to succeed this season, led by 2021 All-ACC Libero Cole with 396 digs.
The Blue Devils send the two passer in Camille Nazor and Alex springate and their best blockers are back in Lily cooper, Lizzie fleming and Georgia Stavrinides.
Duke will open his home team for 2021 on Tuesday, August 31, against Elon at 6:30 p.m. at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
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