As 2022 comes to a close, The Chronicle's sports department takes a look back at the biggest stories of the year in Duke athletics. Each day, we will review a major game, event or storyline that helped shape the course of the year for the Blue Devils.
"When the Blue Devils lost in the semifinal of the ACC match-play semifinals to Florida State Apr. 17, there was still plenty to take away from the individual category. In the stroke-play portion of the tournament, used to determine seeding for the top-four teams and decide the individual title, then-sophomore Phoebe Brinker exploded." -Martin Heintzelman
"Yet the 2022 season had the makings of something different, with an experienced squad looking to return the Blue Devils to national prominence. Against the odds, they did just that, earning a 16-4 overall record and going undefeated at home." -Mackenzie Sheehy
"In cinematic style, February's women’s ACC Indoor Championships came down to the final event: the 4x400m race. In an event that head coach Shawn Wilbourn had experimented with all season by using different combinations of runners, it was Jenna Crean, Erin Marsh, Megan McGinnis and Lauren Hoffman who lined up for the Blue Devils." -Dom Fenoglio
"The Blue Devils were the defending ACC champions and returned eight of their nine starting hitters from the 2021 regionals as well as their two most dominant pitchers. With all of the positives that came with so much talent and experience, so did the lofty preseason expectations that can bless or curse any team." -Jake C. Piazza
"On Black Friday, Duke played in its third Elite Eight in as many seasons, this time as the No. 2 seed in a road matchup against No. 1-seed Alabama. And while the Blue Devils fell short of a College Cup berth with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Crimson Tide, they strung together another elite season, once again coming within striking distance of the ultimate goal." -Jonathan Levitan
"John Kerr’s 15th season as Duke’s head coach featured an undefeated streak through the 15 games that made up the regular season. At 11-0-4, the Blue Devils proved their merits on the field and ended the season as the No. 3 team in the nation." -Sophie Levenson
"For the first time since 2012, Duke lifted the ACC Championship trophy, leaving Rome, Ga., victorious over Virginia. With banners raised, all roads led past Rome and to Champaign, Ill., where the Blue Devils’ high hopes for the NCAA championship were ultimately dashed in the Final Four." -Audrey Wang
"For more than four decades, Mike Krzyzewski was the main man in Durham. On the sidelines of his eponymous court inside Cameron Indoor Stadium, Krzyzewski turned Duke from a heavyweight into a dynasty. Thirteen Final Fours. Fifteen ACC Tournament triumphs. Thirteen ACC regular-season titles. And, the cherry on top: five national championships—a number eclipsed only by John Wooden in his legendary spell at UCLA.
"And then, on a seemingly random June day in 2021, year number 42 was to be his last." -Andrew Long
"In 2022, Duke exceeded all expectations, finishing the year with a 9-4 record, five wins in the ACC and a Military Bowl victory over a talented UCF squad. [Elko] shifted the culture in Durham, both on and off the field, with an inspired group of Blue Devils looking to avenge last year’s disappointments." -Garrett Spooner
"The 'last chance' phenomenon welcomes urgency. When a window of opportunity approaches its close, there’s always a rush, a final grab for whatever light shines at the quickly approaching end of the tunnel. For head coach Mike Krzyzewski, that light was a sixth national title to close out a 42-year career already shrouded in greatness. And he got pretty close to it, surpassing John Wooden with a record 13th Final Four appearance." -Levenson
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