DURHAM – The Duke volleyball team opened the 2021 home team with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-16) victory over Elon on Tuesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
With the win, the Blue Devils remain undefeated at 3-0 while Phoenix drops to 1-3.
“We are in the process of working at the moment”, the head coach Jolene nagel noted. “You know this is only the third game of the season. But we went there tonight making sure we were all there right now because we really want to grow from this test that we were going to have this tonight, that game we were going to have tonight. And I think we got there. We learned more about ourselves and it was a great opportunity for us tonight to play against an opponent that we respected. “
Duke was run by juniors Lizzie fleming and Gracie johnson with eight eliminations each and just three mistakes combined to help the Blue Devils reach a .275 hit percentage. Junior Moorea wood also added six, while the first year Rylie kadel added five and only one error to reach 0.500 in his Cameron Indoor Stadium debut.
Setter Alex springate distributed 33 assists as she found nine Blue Devils while Duke’s defense was fairly evenly distributed. Libero Mackenzie cole led the team with 14 digs, followed by Springate (9) and Johnson (8). Fleming did it again at net with four blocks as Georgia Stavrinides and Lily cooper each added three to help limit the Phoenix to just a .096 game-winning percentage.
The Blue Devils came out hot in the first set to hit 0.342 percent against Elon’s 0.161 as Springate notched 14 assists. The game was tied eight hours before a 4-0 run from Duke to force a time out in Phoenix. Elon left alone to get closer to the three (22-19), but could not withdraw the set.
The situation was reversed in the second as Elon led 18-11. The Blue Devils regained ground by one (19-18) with the help of back-to-back blocks from Fleming and Stavrinides. For the set, Duke had six blocks to two for Elon.
Much like the first set, Duke used a quick start to gain the advantage over Elon, forcing the Phoenix to use their second and final timeout of the set at 16-7.
The Phoenix were led by Leah Daniel with 13 kills while libero Jordan Gower had 17 digs.
Duke will host the first of two tournaments at Cameron Indoor Stadium, starting with the Duke Invitational from September 3-4. The Blue Devils host the College of Charleston, Howard and Miami (OH) on Friday and Saturday.
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