Sportswrap: Duke softball's Jala Wright tosses no-hitter, women's track and field wins ACC Championship

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 Feb. 21-Feb. 27.

Men’s basketball

Life on the road was good to No. 7 Duke this week. The Blue Devils (25-4, 15-3 in the ACC) headed to Charlottesville, Va., Wednesday looking for vengeance against head coach Tony Bennett and his Cavaliers. Thanks to Virginia’s Kihei Clark and his six 3-pointers in the first half, it stayed close for the entire game. But with sophomore guard Jeremy Roach’s 15 points and 10 timely late-game points from AJ Griffin, the Blue Devils came out on top. Duke took to the air to Syracuse, N.Y., for a game Saturday against the Orange in which the trio of Paolo Banchero, Mark Williams and Griffin erupted with more than 20 points each in the win. Duke takes on Pittsburgh in its penultimate regular-season game Tuesday. -Jake Piazza

Women’s basketball

It was yet another difficult week for Duke (16-12, 7-11), which dropped two consecutive contests to Boston College and North Carolina by a combined 44 points. Freshman guard Shayeann Day-Wilson continued to command the Blue Devil offense despite the defeats and posted double-digit scoring outputs in both games, while Onome Akinbode-James put up 13 combined boards to close out the regular season. That makes five losses in the last six games for head coach Kara Lawson’s squad, which enters next week’s ACC tournament in its worst form of the year and desperate for a positive final note in Greensboro, N.C. -Andrew Long


The Blue Devils spent the week in Durham, besting Elon in an exciting midweek meeting and taking four of five in the Duke Invitational. The single 3-2 loss came for No. 10 Duke (13-3) in its first bout with No. 17 Michigan.  There were plenty of highlights the rest of the tournament, including a no-hitter for sophomore Jala Wright against Army, mercy-rule wins against Army and Northern Kentucky and a revenge win against Michigan with more stellar pitching from Wright and Peyton St. George. The Blue Devil offense has been smoking hot thus far, with nine players holding an OPS above 1.000 on the season. It remains to be seen if this pace can continue for Duke as it opens its ACC slate Friday in Atlanta with a three-game series against Georgia Tech. -Molly Honecker

Men’s lacrosse

No. 7 Duke opened its week with a solid 19-14 win against No. 17 Delaware in which graduate transfer Sean Lulley had his highest goal total as a Blue Devil with five. Freshman Andrew McAdorey and junior Dyson Williams, the latter of whom had his sixth-consecutive hat trick, were not far behind with four apiece. Duke (5-2) then traveled to Levittown, N.Y., for the Long Island Metro Cup, where it fell 14-13 in overtime to No. 11 Penn, despite four goals from graduate midfielder Nakeie Montgomery and the team’s second-highest shot total of the season. Next, the Blue Devils take on High Point on the road Tuesday. -Sasha Richie

Women’s lacrosse

The eighth-ranked Blue Devils continued their early-season dominance Thursday, beating Wofford at home 20-4. The contest wasn’t close from the start, as Duke (5-0) scored 10 goals in the first quarter alone. Graduate student Catriona Barry led the offensive effort with five goals in the first half, and Maddie Jenner recorded 10 draw controls in the first half before Kerry Nease took over in the second. Of those 20 goals, 12 were assisted, highlighting Duke’s offensive chemistry and teamwork. The Blue Devils pitched a shutout through nearly 38 minutes of play, but eventually Wofford broke through their shut-down defense. Duke will take on East Carolina at home Monday before heading up to Syracuse to start ACC play. -Rachael Kaplan


Duke took a sloppy series loss at Baylor. Marcus Johnson rebounded in his second career start Friday, but the offense was held to two late runs. A Saturday rainout necessitated a Sunday doubleheader, in which five Bears were hit by pitches and 27 total walks were issued. Ten Bear runs in the sixth and seventh innings doomed the first game, but two late Duke runs in the second game helped the Blue Devils avoid a series sweep. No. 25 East Carolina comes to Durham on Tuesday. -Em Adler


The Blue Devils hosted the ACC Championship at home both Saturday and Sunday. Duke competed against Boston College, Notre Dame and North Carolina, and performed well through individual competitions. Six fencers collected medals Saturday, with a silver for Sarah Lurye in the epee and bronze medals for Vivi Buchmann and Terence Lee in saber, Christina Ferrari and David Tierney in foil and Rachel Kowalsky in epee. The women’s team had an impressive showing Sunday in the team competition, ending in second place behind Notre Dame. The men’s team lost to Boston College 14-13 and the Fighting Irish 17-10. Duke's qualifying fencers will next compete March 12 at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional. -Ana Young

Women’s golf

The Blue Devils are back in action. Making its season debut at the Moon Golf Invitational down in Florida, Duke showed that it has some work to do before reaching the standard that the program strives for. Despite a final-round even-par showing in blustery conditions, the Blue Devils could only muster a tie for 10th at +18 for the event. Erica Shepherd, Anne Chen and Phoebe Brinker all finished in the top 30 individually, but each needs to cut out the big numbers to get into contention in future tournaments. Next for Duke is a trip down to scenic Hilton Head, S.C. for the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate, which runs from Monday through Wednesday. -Max Rego

Men’s golf

Duke men’s golf traveled to the Watersound Intercollegiate in Panama City Beach, Fla., for its first event of the week. The Blue Devils didn’t perform to their potential as they finished 11th out of the 14 programs invited. Sophomore Ian Siebers typically leads head coach Jamie Green’s squad, but senior Quinn Riley was the story of the tournament. Riley finished three under, giving the Raleigh native an impressive ninth-place finish. The next best-scoring Blue Devil was sophomore Jimmy Zheng at +1. Riley also finished third for Duke at the weekend's Wolfpack Invitational. The Blue Devils next travel to Pinehurst, N.C., for the Wake Forest Intercollegiate. -Jonah Pilnick

Women’s tennis

The Blue Devils had a great weekend on the road, taking down Louisville 6-1 Friday and Notre Dame 5-2 Sunday. Against the Cardinals, Duke (6-1, 2-0) quickly snagged the doubles point with duos of Georgia Drummy and Karolina Berankova and Ellie Coleman and Eliza Omirou getting wins early in the match. The strong start got the ball rolling for successful singles matches almost all around, as junior leader Chloe Beck was the first to win her match in straight sets. Freshmen Emma Jackson and Coleman, along with seniors Margaryta Bilokin and Drummy, followed by winning their respective matches. Kelly Chen lost in a tiebreaker, but fortunately for the Devils, the match was already won. More good fortune came for the Blue Devils against the Fighting Irish, as they once again picked up the doubles point early on. Despite Drummy dropping her singles match, Beck, Chen, Bilokin and Jackson all picked up wins to bring the score to 5-1. Ellie Coleman lost to Notre Dame's Meghan Coleman—no relation—but again, the match was already won for the Blue Devils. -Campbell Lawson

Men’s tennis

Duke men’s tennis could not have asked for a better result Saturday, as the team easily defeated Coastal Carolina and Campbell in the doubleheader. The final score in both matches was a dominant 6-1 mark in favor of the Blue Devils (7-3), who dropped only one singles match the entire day. In the second contest versus Campbell, the squad battled back after losing the doubles point to win all six of the singles matchups. The fantastic showing should generate significant momentum heading into conference play, as Duke begins a stretch of 10 straight ACC matches beginning with a Friday contest against Virginia. -Robert Miron

Swimming and diving

After its success in the ACC Championship last week, Duke took a trip down the road to Chapel Hill to compete in the UNC Last Chance Meet. Four Blue Devils—Matthew Knox, Cole Reznick, Easop Lee and Catherine Purnell—turned in top-10 times in program history in their events, with the latter two scoring NCAA 'B' cuts. With the conclusion of this meet, the Blue Devils will look toward the NCAA tournament, in which divers will compete in early March and swimmers later in the month. -Babu Chatterjee

Track & field

It was a good weekend for the Blue Devils, whose women’s team captured the ACC Indoor Championship in Blacksburg, Va., finishing tied for first with Virginia Tech. This included a win in the 4x400 relay by Jenna Crean, Erin Marsh, Megan McGinnis and Lauren Hoffman, who snatched the gold medal and a co-championship after the Hokies finished 10th. On the men’s side, graduate student Nick Dahl dominated the mile with his 4:04.72 time and Michael Fairbanks claimed Duke’s first indoor pole vault title since 1978, leading their side to seventh place overall. Some athletes have a shot at qualifying for March’s NCAA Indoor Championships, but the rest will turn their eyes to the outdoor season slated to start March 18 at the Bob Davidson Invitational in High Point, N.C. -Long


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