Head coach Jolene Nagel won her 300th college match as Duke dominated Elon 3-0 Wednesday at home. The Blue Devils continue their recent hot streak at a number of freshmen continue to grow into leading roles.
\With head coach Jolene Nagel on the verge of her 300th victory, the volleyball team pulled through. Duke (6-2) defeated overmatched, in-state opponent Elon 30-16, 30-21, 30-20. The victory, the sixth consecutive for the Blue Devils.
“You know I really hadn’t thought about it before the game, but I guess its fair to say I am definitely not a rookie anymore,” Nagel said.
The victory moves Nagel’s career record to 300-203 as a college coach and she is just three wins away from her 100th victory as the coach of the Blue Devils.
“Being a freshman, it’s an honor to be here and share this milestone victory with her,” Tealle Hunkus said.
Duke came out energized from the beginning and controlled the pace. The Blue Devils let their early momentum carry through the match to make easy work of Elon (3-5).
“We were focused and determined and came out quickly,” Hunkus said.
The Blue Devils jumped out to an early 4-0 lead in the first game. Duke never trailed and led 15-5 before the teams traded points for the rest of the game.
After a 30-16 game one win, Duke followed it up with consistent second and third games. The Blue Devils kept the intense pressure on the Phoenix, becoming more aggressive in the final two games. In games two and three the Blue Devils built an early lead, and after replacing starters with substitutes, the teams traded points for the remainder of each game.
Freshman star Carrie DeMange and junior Samantha Fisher led the Blue Devils Tuesday night. The two combined for 18 kills. Additionally, freshman Ali Hausfeld controlled the offense with 31 of the teams 39 sets.
A combination of the strong performance by the Blue Devils starters and an inferior opponent allowed all 13 members of Duke’s team to get into the game.
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Strong serving and continued aggression have been keys to the Blue Devils’ six-game winning streak.
Nagel said her teams ability to focus—regardless of the quality of the opponent—will allow for “great possibilities” for the team.
“This team is going to be able to take advantage of opportunities,” Nagel said.
The next action for the Blue Devils will be at the College of Charleston Invitational over the weekend. Duke will face East Carolina Friday, followed by Georgia State and the College of Charleston Saturday. After the tournament, the Blue Devils will commence their ACC schedule at home against rival North Carolina Tuesday, Sept. 21.
Nagel said her biggest concern is her team’s defense, especially its inability to generate enough blocks and digs. She is confident that her team’s hard practice ethic and ability to unite will lead to a successful year in the ACC.
“We need to get our hands on more blocks before we begin our conference schedule,” Nagel said.