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 May 22-28.
Just one game separates No. 1-seed Duke from national championship glory. The Blue Devils survived a scary game against Penn State in the Final Four Saturday 16-15, riding a controversial game-winner from graduate midfielder Garrett Leadmon in overtime. Leadmon and junior attacker Brennan O’Neill each earned a hat trick to pace the team, with a surprise two goals and one assist for junior FOGO Jake Naso. The performance certainly wasn’t Duke’s most convincing of the year, but with the national title game set for Monday at 1 p.m. at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, eyes are certainly set forward on bringing home championship number four. -Andrew Long
After a magical postseason run, No. 8-seed Duke fell to No. 9-seed Stanford in the Durham Super Regional, ending the Blue Devils’ bid to the Women’s College World Series. In game one of the series, Duke’s Cassidy Curd and the Cardinal’s NiJarre Canady battled it out on the pitcher’s mound before Stanford broke away with a strong performance in the fifth to ultimately take the contest 3-1. In a win-or-go-home game two matchup, the Blue Devils and the Cardinal once more duked it out before the magic of the fifth went Stanford’s way, allowing it to score four runs en route to a 7-2 victory and its first WCWS appearance since 2004. Duke, meanwhile, ends its historic season with a program-high 48 wins and eight ranked victories while achieving its highest seed ever in the NCAA Championship. -Mackenzie Sheehy
Duke competed in the ACC tournament this week as the No. 5 seed, but lost both of its pool play games by one run to N.C. State and Miami. Against the Wolfpack, the Blue Devils were able to fight all the way back from an early 7-1 deficit, with graduate student MJ Metz tying the game in the ninth inning with a two-run home run. However, Duke could not score in extras, and N.C. State took the game 8-7 in the 11th. Then, it was the Blue Devils who blew a lead against the Hurricanes. Junior Luke Storm put Duke ahead by two in the eighth, but freshman James Tallon surrendered two costly Miami home runs. The Blue Devils, who have won just three of their last 10 games, now await their seeding in the NCAA tournament, with the selection show coming Monday. -Dom Fenoglio
A few weeks removed from Duke’s exit from the NCAA tournament to UCLA, three Blue Devils took part in the NCAA Singles Championships this week. Chloe Beck’s run to the Sweet 16 was the most outstanding performance of the bunch, bringing her final match back from 5-2 down in the final set to tie it up, only to lose on a heartbreaking tiebreaker to Oklahoma’s Layne Sleeth. Georgia Drummy knocked off No. 2-seed Mary Stoiana of Texas A&M before falling in the second round while Emma Jackson concluded her season with a defeat to No. 12-seed Ayana Akli of South Carolina. Focus now turns to the fall. -Long
Duke officially concluded its season, as senior Garrett Johns and freshman Pedro Rodenas competed in the NCAA individual championships this week. Johns fell in the first round of the singles tournament to Texas’ Siem Woldeab 6-4, 6-4. Rodenas won twice to advance to the Sweet 16 before falling 7-5, 7-6 (3) to another Longhorn, No. 1-seed Eliot Spizzirri. Johns and Rodenas played together in the doubles event, earning an impressive 6-4, 7-6 (5) opening win against the No. 4-seed duo of Ethan Quinn and Trent Bryde of Georgia. The tandem was defeated in the subsequent round by N.C. State’s Rafa Izquierdo Luque and Joseph Wayand 7-5, 7-6 (5). Nevertheless, the future is bright for the Blue Devils as both standouts plan to return next year. -Ranjan Jindal
Track and field
The Blue Devils got back on the track to take part in the NCAA East Regional meet, the one that determines national qualifications. For four days, Duke showcased depth and development on the Visit Jax Track in Hodges Stadium. The power of this program was simply reaffirmed over the weekend spent in Jacksonville, Fla., as the Blue Devil women qualified for 11 events and the men for three, featuring numerous personal bests as well as numbers worthy of being slotted in the Duke all-time record book. Those qualifying marks will take the Blue Devils to Austin, Texas, starting June 7, where they will take on the NCAA Outdoor Championships. -Sophie Levenson
Senior Erica Shepherd was the lone Blue Devil to advance to the final round of the NCAA Championship this week, wrapping up her time at Duke with a 14th-place finish on a score of 3-under par. The performance marks the finest of her career and her best at the NCAA Championship, including five birdies on the final day alone and being one of just eight golfers to finish the final day with a score of 3-under or better. For the rest of her team, the clubs get boxed up for the summer before resuming service in the fall. -Long
Duke’s NCAA journey kicked off this week at the same course as the women, the notoriously difficult Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Blue Devils finished the first round 10-over in 17th place, paced by sophomore Kelly Chinn’s late birdie to finish 1-over. A strong start was then muddied by a tough second day, in which Ian Siebers’ 1-over was a bright spot for a Duke team that finished the round 20-over. By the end of day three, the Blue Devils were in 22nd place, awaiting one final round Monday. -Long
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