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The Devil's in the details: Duke women's tennis continues strong start, women's basketball keeps winning

Senior Chloe Beck returns the ball with a backhand slice.
Senior Chloe Beck returns the ball with a backhand slice.

They say the devil is in the details. But in Durham, the Blue Devils are in the details—and numbers.


No. 4 Duke women’s tennis is off to a blazing start, winning its first eight contests. However, it has been the sheer domination in these matches that has been so impressive, as the Blue Devils have only given up one total match in all eight games. The lone surrendered match occurred in Duke’s 4-1 victory against Wisconsin during the ITA Kickoff Weekend. Nevertheless, this was an important victory as the Blue Devils earned their way to the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Seattle, which will begin Feb. 10. This team is very deep and possesses many impact players due to a strong transfer class. The 14th-ranked doubles pair of senior Chloe Beck and graduate transfer Cameron Morra has been excellent, being a factor in clinching the all-important doubles point to begin the match. The Blue Devils will look to continue this success as they begin the National Team Indoor Championships against Oklahoma Friday. 


In last week’s AP Poll, No. 9 Duke women’s basketball cracked the top ten for the first time since 2016-2017, in large part due to its defensive effort. The Blue Devils are holding opponents to a remarkable 51.7 points per game, good for third in the country. Even more impressive is the improvement from last year, as Duke was giving up 62.2 points per game. Head coach Kara Lawson has noted the importance of assistant coaches Karen Lange and Tia Jackson in improving the defense along with a general growth in the team’s effort. The magic number in ACC play thus far has been 60, because Duke is undefeated when holding opponents under 60 points. Duke emerged victorious Sunday, defeating Notre Dame 57-52, holding the Fighting Irish to their second-lowest scoring total all season. Following this victory, Duke defeated Boston College 68-27, surrendering the second-lowest point total by an ACC team in history. 


After a thrilling rivalry victory against North Carolina last Saturday, Duke men’s basketball was thumped in Miami 81-59.The offensive execution was poor, particularly as a result of sloppiness. The Blue Devils committed 21 turnovers, which tied their season high. The other game in which Duke had 21 turnovers was in a blowout defeat by N.C. State, demonstrating the importance of ball security this season. It was a rough game for Duke’s starting backcourt, as both junior Jeremy Roach and freshman Tyrese Proctor had five turnovers apiece. It will be paramount to limit the amount of empty possessions on the offensive end going forward. The Blue Devils will have a challenging task ahead, as they will face the ACC’s top-ranked defense in Virginia. 


Sophomore distance runner Amina Maatoug has continued her absolutely incredible season at the JDL Camel City Invite this past week. She broke the Duke record for the mile, one that had stood for 12 years, recording a time of 4:32:54 and representing her third broken school record this season. Maatoug finished second in this mile, nearly defeating Huntington's Addy Wiley. The Leiden, Netherlands, native broke the 3000m record earlier in the season, and was also part of the team that broke the distance medley track record. In all, the Blue Devils have broken seven school records this season, and they will compete in two separate meets this weekend before gearing up for the ACC Indoor Championships Feb. 23. 

Ranjan Jindal profile
Ranjan Jindal | Assistant Blue Zone editor

Ranjan Jindal is a Trinity first-year and an assistant Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.


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