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Blue Devils breeze to victory

Coming back from the West Coast and playing on three days' rest, Duke knew it had to make quick work of Campbell. The Blue Devils came out and swept the Camels 3-0 to secure their second victory of the season Wednesday night.

BUIES CREEK, N.C. — Coming back from the West Coast and playing on three days’ rest, the women’s volleyball team knew it had to make quick work of Campbell (1-3).

That is exactly what it did, sweeping the overmatched Camels 3-0 Wednesday night. It took just over an hour for the Blue Devils to level their season record at 2-2. Duke dominated its in-state opponent 30-8, 30-25, 30-19.

With their home opener Friday, the non-conference game came at a pivotal point in the young season for the Blue Devils. The team returned from the weekend’s Loyola Marymount Tournament with a record of 1-2.

Despite the midweek game, head coach Jolene Nagel said her team was rested and ready to play.

“It was important that we came out quickly and won the first game easily,” she said.

After starting strong, Duke suffered a minor letdown in the second game.

“We stopped busting,” Nagel said.

The Blue Devils, however, responded quickly to avoid a loss in the second game. Nagel felt that strong serving propelled the team through a competitive second game.

At the start of game three, Duke returned to the court energized and focused, finishing off the match with ease.

“We came in fired up and ready to go,” sophomore Pixie Levanas said. “We saw this as an opportunity, and realized we must seize it.”

The Blue Devils finished the match with 36 kills, led by Levanas, junior Samantha Fisher and freshman Carrie DeMange. New freshman star Ali Hausfeld paced the Blue Devils with 23 sets.

Because of the inferior opponent, the team was able to use 13 players, which enabled the team’s younger members to gain valuable experience.

The home opener for the Blue Devils is Friday at 7 p.m. against South Carolina, the first of three games in the Duke Invitational Tournament. Duke will also play host to Towson and Northern Illinois Saturday in Cameron Indoor Stadium.

“Tomorrow is a big practice day,” said Nagel, who is helping her team cope with another quick turnaround. “If we are going to compete this weekend, we are going to have to do a lot of defensive work.”

With the start of the conference season just a mere two weeks away, Levanas knows the team has a great deal of work to do.

“We need to communicate well, and be ready for every point, every game, and every match,” Pixie said.

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