Shelton's second triple-double of the week powers Duke volleyball to victory over UNCG

Andie Shelton has immediately emerged as a leader in her first season after transferring from Pacific following her graduation.
Andie Shelton has immediately emerged as a leader in her first season after transferring from Pacific following her graduation.

Andie Shelton’s triple-double in a win against South Florida Friday was the first by a Blue Devil since 2006, but the graduate transfer from Pacific needed only four days to repeat the feat.

Shelton tallied 11 kills, 19 assists and 11 digs to lead Duke past UNC Greensboro 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-16) Tuesday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium for the Blue Devils’ fourth straight victory and the program’s 19th consecutive win against the Spartans. Duke finished the match with a season-high .325 hitting percentage.

“The team in general, they’re so helpful. I have great setters. I have a great defense that’s always there to be picking up the balls that I’m getting blocked on,” Shelton said. “It’s great to have that confidence in my team so I’m able to swing as hard I want, I’m able to set whoever I want and play defense.”

The Blue Devils (4-2) got out to a slow start, as UNC Greensboro quickly seized a 12-6 lead in the first set. But Duke scored seven straight points to pull in front with the help of five Spartan attack errors. Three kills by redshirt junior Leah Meyer kept the Blue Devils in control, and three straight service aces for senior setter Haley Seyfarth brought Duke within a point of winning the set.

Shelton won the set with a kill that hit UNC Greensboro’s blockers and fell out of bounds, as the Blue Devils closed the frame on a 21-7 run.

The second set started out much like the first, and when senior Jessi Bartholomew touched the net on an attack attempt, the Spartans (3-4) took an 18-12 lead and appeared poised to even the match at one set apiece.

“We started off really slow, and then we kind of realized, ‘Hey, we’ve really got to pick ourselves up and get going right now, because this isn’t acceptable.’ We had the coaches telling us, ‘Hey, you guys are better than this,’” Shelton said. “We knew we were better than them. It was just a matter of us kind of picking ourselves up and getting confident.”

Duke quickly rattled off five straight points to pull within one, as Shelton contributed a kill and teamed up with 6-foot-5 middle blocker Summer Brown for a block. After UNC Greensboro scored a point to briefly keep the lead, the Blue Devils continued their onslaught, and Shelton elevated for three more kills to punctuate a 12-1 run that gave the hosts a 23-19 advantage.

Shelton—an honorable mention All-West Coast Conference selection last year at Pacific—received ACC Player of the Week honors Monday for her performances in Duke’s three weekend wins, and the do-it-all veteran continued starring with an efficient .476 hitting percentage Tuesday.

“It was really a surprise. It was great, so I was really honored, and I know there are a lot of good players in the ACC,” Shelton said of her award. “The school—it’s as awesome as everyone says it is. I’m loving being here.”

The Spartans touched the net on an attack by freshman Ade Owokoniran to hand the Blue Devils the set and a commanding 2-0 lead, and Duke left little doubt that it would complete the sweep from the beginning of the third frame.

The Blue Devils jumped out to a 10-4 advantage on another kill by Shelton, who achieved her triple-double with another kill that gave Duke a 19-12 lead after the teams traded points in the middle of the set. Kills by Bartholomew and junior Samantha Amos put the finishing touches on a quick victory, which the Blue Devils wrapped up in less than 90 minutes.

Bartholomew and Meyer joined Shelton in double figures in kills with 10 apiece, and Meyer reached the mark on just 14 total attacks, good for an exceptional .714 hitting percentage. Duke’s hitting percentage in the third set was a dominant .484, as the team progressively improved in that statistic in each set.

“Some of the matches we’ve had earlier this year, we’ve had good starts and then maybe the hitting percentage went down as the match went on, but I’m excited to hear that we just kept increasing it,” Blue Devil head coach Jolene Nagel said. “We have a lot of new players, young players plus a grad student, and we’re still learning about each other every time we step on the court.”

Duke will continue its seven-game homestand at the Duke Invitational this weekend with a doubleheader Friday against Cincinnati and Coastal Carolina and another match Saturday at East Tennessee State.

“You’re going to feel that momentum and that urge and that desire to want to keep winning, so I think that’s really helping us going into this next three games,” Shelton said. “Hopefully we can take the momentum and just keep rolling.”


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