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 Feb. 28-March 13.
The past two weeks for Duke has been eventful, to say the least, beginning with a regular-season conference title-clinching win at Pittsburgh and ending with Saturday’s disappointing 82-67 loss to Virginia Tech in the ACC tournament title game. Of course, the main event in that time frame was head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, a highly-anticipated moment that rival North Carolina spoiled 94-83. Despite the pair of tough defeats, Duke (28-6, 16-4 in the ACC) enters the NCAA tournament as the No. 2 seed in the West Region and is set for a first-round matchup Friday against Cal State Fullerton. -Jonathan Levitan
Duke capped off its two-month-long collapse with a second-round exit from the ACC tournament—one that was nearly a first-round loss to the worst team in the conference. The Blue Devils (17-13, 7-11) slipped past No. 15-seed Pittsburgh by one possession before blowing a 22-13 lead to Miami in a game that they led in the fourth quarter. Freshman point guard Shayeann Day-Wilson was snubbed from All-Tournament honors, despite finishing seventh in scoring, first in assist percentage and sixth in usage rate among eligible players across the weekend. Duke will not play in the WNIT, per Mitchell Northam. -Em Adler
No. 7 Duke has continued to live up to its high expectations. The Blue Devils (8-1, 1-1) dealt with East Carolina with ease, winning 19-9 with 13 different goal-scorers before dropping their first ACC game at No. 3 Syracuse by a score of 18-16. Duke rebounded against Pittsburgh, closing out a 15-14 win with graduate student Catriona Barry putting the Blue Devils on top for good with under two minutes left. The Duke offense was once again roaring against Penn as it won 21-10 and sophomore attacker Katie DeSimone scored five. Next, Louisville comes to town Thursday night. -Rachael Kaplan
Following a convincing home win against Richmond, the eighth-ranked Blue Devils traveled up to Baltimore, Md., for a contest against struggling Loyola (2-4). A 12-4 Greyhound lead late in the fourth quarter exposed Duke’s defensive deficiencies, however, and proved too steep of a hill to climb despite a valiant comeback from head coach John Danowski’s men. Sophomore Brennan O’Neill once again led Duke (7-3) in scoring with four goals, with fellow attackmen Joe Robertson and Dyson Williams each chipping in with one as well. Duke next travels to Washington, D.C., for a chance at redemption against Towson Saturday. -Andrew Long
Duke has won five of nine so far in March, taking its first ACC win of the season in the finale of its three-game series against No. 5 Virginia. The Blue Devils (9-7) opened the month on a sour note, losing 12-2 to East Carolina, but proceeded to take four of their next five against Bucknell and UMass Lowell, outscoring those foes by a total of 55-18. After dropping its first two matches against the Cavaliers, Duke prevented the sweep in its 7-6 victory Sunday with the help of four RBIs from Dartmouth transfer Trevor Johnson. -Molly Honecker
The eighth-ranked Blue Devils took their winning streak to 10 games with five more dominant victories over the past week. With a plus-26 run differential, Duke (21-3, 6-0) has gotten off to a hot start in its first two conference series after its most recent three-game sweep of N.C. State. Graduate student Peyton St. George tossed a gem Sunday after setting the program’s single-game strikeout record Friday. The back-to-back double-digit-strikeout performances for St. George, complemented by solid work in the circle from Jala Wright in the absence of senior Shelby Walters, has the Blue Devils in great hands pitching-wise as their offense continues to dominate the opposition. -Micah Hurewitz
Track & field
It was a good weekend at the NCAA Indoor Championships for Duke. Graduate student Nick Dahl placed sixth in the men’s mile with a time of 4:07.78 and earned All-America recognition, while Erin Marsh and Isabel Wakefield placed second and seventh, respectively, in the women’s pentathlon. Marsh’s stellar showing set a new school record, beating her own record from last year, and the two women similarly became All-Americans. Next up is the outdoor season, which begins Friday at High Point. -Long
Swimming & diving
Duke competed at the Zone B Diving Championship March 6-9, sending nine athletes to the event in Atlanta and heading back to Durham with three of those divers qualifying for March’s NCAA Championships. Margo O’Meara, Maddi Pullinger and Ali Watson each placed highly enough in their events to keep their respective seasons alive, joining swimmers Sarah Foley and Catherine Purnell in the group of five Blue Devils set to return to Atlanta starting Wednesday. -Jonathan Levitan
Duke men’s golf first traveled to Raleigh Feb. 26-27 for the Wolfpack Invitational, a two-round individual event. Out of the 41 golfers, four were Blue Devils and senior Quinn Riley tied for third. Duke also went to Pinehurst, N.C., for the Wake Forest Invitational Monday and Tuesday. Duke finished second out of 12 teams with the player of the tournament being sophomore Jimmy Zheng, who tied for third. The Blue Devils should look to have a similar result at the Seahawk Intercollegiate at the end of the month. -Jonah Pilnick
The Blue Devils vaulted themselves into the No. 5 spot in the rankings with two strong home victories. Duke (8-1, 4-0) secured a 4-3 win March 4 against then-No. 12 Virginia in a hard-fought match. Two days later, the Blue Devils put on another impressive performance in conference play, finishing with a 7-0 sweep against Virginia Tech. Duke gets back in action with another home match Friday evening against Boston College. -Matthew Hawkins
After dropping its first ACC matchup to then-No. 18 Virginia, Duke has now rattled off three straight wins in conference play, with the last two victories coming on the road against No. 17 Florida State and No. 24 Miami. Junior Andrew Zhang won singles matches in all three team victories, junior Garrett Johns triumphed at No. 1 singles against the Hokies and Hurricanes and the Blue Devils (10-4, 3-1) are rolling ahead of Wednesday’s matchup against North Carolina in Durham. -Levitan
Duke had a successful start to the spring season with an impressive performance at the Carolina Cup on Lake Hartwell, defeating host Clemson for the sixth consecutive season for the Daughtry Cup. The Blue Devils swept the Tigers, winning all five races. Duke held sizable margins in all of its victories, winning each of the V8, V4, 2V4 and 3V8 categories by more than 10 seconds, with the largest margin of victory being a nearly 28-second victory in the 3V8. The Blue Devils next head to Oak Ridge, Tenn., for the Oak Ridge Invite. -Cameron DeChurch
The Blue Devils headed out of town March 6 for the ACC Championships in Charlottesville, Va. However, Duke took sixth place out of the six teams in the competition, falling to N.C. State, Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, North Carolina and Virginia. Despite the defeat, the Blue Devils had two wrestlers place in twin redshirt seniors Josh and Matt Finesilver, who each took fourth in their respective brackets. Those finishes qualify the two for NCAA Championships in Detroit beginning Thursday, in which the brothers will be Duke’s sole representatives. -Ana Young
Duke made its way to Princeton, N.J., Saturday, to compete in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic/South Regional. Though Princeton, Penn State and Penn mostly led, the Blue Devils saw stunning success from several fencers, particularly on the women’s side. Senior Alex Gorman led Duke with a third-place saber performance and 16 victories. Sophomore Christina Ferrari was close behind at fourth place in foil and 15 wins. Duke had 10 total performers advance to the final round. Qualifying Blue Devils for the NCAA Championship get announced next week for a chance to compete beginning March 24 in South Bend, Ind. -Young
Teams that did not compete this week:
Women’s golf finished the first round of the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge out in California Sunday, as the Blue Devils sit in fourth after 18 holes. The event will wrap up Tuesday.
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