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Sportswrap: Duke football fights off Kansas, women's soccer breaks undefeated start

<p>Quarterback Gunnar Holmberg accounted for five touchdowns against Kansas.</p>

Quarterback Gunnar Holmberg accounted for five touchdowns against Kansas.

Sportswrap is your one-stop shop for everything Duke athletics, where we’ll recap how each of Duke’s sports currently in competition performed over the last week and give a brief look ahead. Here’s our recap for the week of Sept. 20-Sept. 26.

Football 

The Blue Devils won their third straight game Saturday, wrapping up their non-conference slate with a thrilling 52-33 victory against visiting Kansas. Quarterback Gunnar Holmberg was superb, totaling five touchdowns and setting new career-highs in both passing and rushing as the offense’s big day helped mask a less-than-stellar performance on the defensive end. Even after a tough loss in the season opener at Charlotte, the Blue Devils enter ACC play at 3-1 thanks to an unprecedented 544.5 yards of total offense per game. Up next is a date with crosstown rival North Carolina at midday Saturday. -Jonathan Levitan

Women’s soccer

Duke suffered its first loss of the season Thursday at the hands of No. 7 Virginia 1-0. Trying to rebound and get back on track as the nation’s second-ranked team, the Blue Devils (7-1-1, 1-1-1 in the ACC) drew Virginia Tech 1-1 Sunday—without forwards Michelle Cooper and Olivia Migli to spark the offense for the second straight game. Duke hosts Syracuse this Saturday hoping to get back in the win column. -Micah Hurewitz

Cross country

The Blue Devil men and women both placed third at the Coast to Coast Battle in Beantown this past Friday. The men grabbed 80 points behind four top-20 performances from CJ Ambrosio, Zach Kinne, Sam Rivera and Chris Theodore, placing 11th, 13th, 15th and 17th, respectively. The women ended their afternoon with 115 points. Charlotte Tomkinson continued her breakout year edging out the Blue Devils' typical leader Michaela Reinhart by 3.3 seconds for Duke’s top spot. Clara Savchik, Elizabeth Reneau and Caroline Howley filled out the rest of the top five, placing 5th, 7th, 23rd, 25th and 57th, respectively. For the next contest, both teams will head out to Florida State Oct. 15 to compete in the Pre-Nationals Invational. -Alex Jackson

Field hockey

The 18th-ranked Blue Devils fell in a defensive showdown against No. 4 Louisville Friday night, losing the game 1-0. With just one shot on goal, Duke (4-5, 0-2) struggled to find a groove against the Cardinals and failed to equalize the score after an early Louisville goal. The team didn’t stay down long, though, coming back with a strong 3-1 victory against William and Mary Sunday afternoon. Leah Crouse and Logan Clouser each had a goal and an assist in the win, sealing the game to get the team to a game under .500. The Blue Devils get back in action Friday in a tough ACC matchup against No. 11 Virginia. -Matthew Hawkins

Volleyball

Duke started ACC play this weekend and split its two contests. Friday's match was a dominant victory against Boston College behind 11 kills from freshman middle blocker Rylie Kadel. Sunday's match didn't treat the Blue Devils so kindly, and they lost in three sets to Syracuse despite a stellar offensive day from sophomore middle blocker Georgia Stavrinides, who notched a ridiculously accurate .538 hitting percentage. Duke hits the road for Pittsburgh for its Friday match. -Jake Piazza

Men’s soccer

Duke won its third-straight ACC matchup on Saturday after facing Syracuse on the road. The 1-0 victory continues the sixth-ranked Blue Devils’ perfect conference record and brings them to 6-1 on the season. The game was also their sixth clean sheet of the season and was yet another chapter in this year’s defense-first story. Both teams were held scoreless until the 81st minute when sophomore forward Thorleifur Ulfarsson broke through off a feed from sophomore midfielder Peter Stroud. Next for Duke is a break in the ACC action, with a home game against Howard on the slate for Tuesday. -Sasha Richie

Women’s tennis

After opening their fall season a week ago at the Furman Invitational, the Blue Devils split up into two squads this week to take part in the Fall Ranked Spotlight in Cary, N.C., and the Kitty Harrison Invitational in nearby Chapel Hill, N.C. Junior Chloe Beck starred in Cary, falling early on to North Carolina’s Cameron Morra—an old nemesis from Beck’s sophomore season—before storming back to win the consolation bracket, earning her third career top-ten win in the process. The team splits up again next week between events in Charleston, S.C., and Evanston, Il. -Levitan

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