The independent news organization of Duke University

Duke shakes slow start to topple Wake Forest

Riding a three-game winning streak into Winston-Salem, the Duke volleyball team rallied to beat Wake Forest, 3-1, Tuesday.

The loss snapped the Demon Deacons' seven-game home winning streak.

The Blue Devils (19-7, 13-5 in the ACC) came back to win the final three games of the match after dropping the first game 30-13 and being held to a .000 hitting percentage.

"Our service-receive really broke down in the first game and we weren't being consistent," head coach Jolene Nagel said. "We weren't pursuing balls like we needed to or reacting to what was happening on the court. We were just kind of frozen."

Duke did not capture its first lead over Wake Forest (16-11, 9-9) until a block assist by outside hitter Sarah Salem and middle blocker Jourdan Norman gave the Blue Devils a 10-9 advantage in Game 2.

The Blue Devils went on to take the second game, 30-24, led by Norman and middle blocker Samantha Fisher, who each notched five kills in the game.

"In Game 2, we started to serve-receive a lot better, which allowed us to get our offense going," Nagel said. "Once that happened, we were able to establish our blocking game, which helped us keep more balls in play."

The Blue Devils were paced by setter Ali Hausfeld, who had a match-high 62 assists and middle blocker Carrie DeMange, who posted her 18th double-double of the season, with 17 kills and 13 digs.

Nagel, however, was quick to point out the importance of the team's effort as a whole.

"We had some great individual performances, but all of us can't do what we need to do without the help of somebody else," she said. "That's what it's all about, coming together as a team and making everything happen for ourselves."

After taking the third game 30-23, Duke found itself trailing the Demon Deacons by as many as six in the fourth. But after closing the gap to one at 23-22, the Blue Devils went on an 8-2 run to clinch the game, 30-25, and end the match.

DeMange recorded kills on three of Duke's final eight points, to fuel the Blue Devils' comeback.

"I'm encouraged by what I saw tonight," Nagel said. "After really not playing up to our capabilities in Game 1, we could have just thrown in the towel-but we didn't. We hung in there point for point, focusing on each play, and came away with a win."

The Blue Devils, who have won nine of their last 11 matches to move into a tie for third in the ACC, need to continue to focus on each point and each game, Nagel said.

"Our team is really trying to focus on the next match ahead, we're not looking beyond that or back at what we've done so far," she said. "The most important match is the match that's next."


Share and discuss “Duke shakes slow start to topple Wake Forest” on social media.