Devil's in the details: Field hockey ends historic season, volleyball on hot streak

Duke field hockey won 18 games this season, the most under head coach Pam Bustin.
Duke field hockey won 18 games this season, the most under head coach Pam Bustin.

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


Duke field hockey’s season came to a heartbreaking end in Friday’s NCAA tournament semifinals. While a 2-1 loss to Northwestern crushed hopes of a championship, the Blue Devils’ 18-5 record was still enough to place the season in school record books.

Duke’s 18 victories mark the most wins under head coach Pam Bustin and tie three other seasons for the most wins in program history. This is also the first time in three years that the field hockey team has had a winning record. This statistical turnaround only adds to the magic of this year’s season, which came to fruition thanks to incredible teamwork and maneuvers by Piper Hampsch, Alaina McVeigh and Hannah Miller. Despite the end to the season, the team has given much to look forward to in the coming years.

Duke volleyball held Virginia to 0 sets Friday, sweeping the Cavaliers 3-0 on the road. A .239 hitting percentage in the first set allowed the Blue Devils to take an early lead, while impressive blocking from Duke in the third set forced Virginia’s hitting percentage to drop below zero (-.167). Graduate student Lizzie Fleming and junior Rachel Richardson added eight combined kills on zero errors in the third set to secure the sweep, while sophomore Kerry Keefe aided the effort by notching three aces against the Cavaliers. The team gave Virginia few opportunities to score and none to win a set, bringing home a decisive victory. The Blue Devils followed this up with another 3-0 defeat against Clemson, going into the regular-season finale winning six of their last seven. 


Duke played Bucknell for the fourth time in history Friday, bringing the series record to 4-0. The Blue Devils also finished the game with four players in double figures. Mark Mitchell led the team with a career-high 20 points, including a perfect 3-for-3 from the free throw line. Jared McCain scored 17 points, Tyrese Proctor notched 13 and Kyle Filipowski contributed with 10 to deliver the Blue Devils a comfortable 30-point victory.

McCain also tallied the first double-double for Duke this season, as his 17 points were accompanied by 10 rebounds. He finished the game 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, marking the most 3-point shots made by a Blue Devil this season.

Duke swim and dive made waves at Greensboro Aquatic Center this weekend, breaking three school records over the course of three days. The women toppled the first record in Thursday’s 400-yard medley relay race. Ali Pfaff, Kaelyn Gridley, Aleyna Ozkan and Sarah Foley edged out the previous time by two one-hundredths of a second, replacing the record with their final finish of 3:31.33.

On Friday, Gridley added another edit to the record book with her 100-yard breaststroke time of 58.74. As the only swimmer in the field to complete the race under one minute, she also walked away with a first-place finish. The next night, the freshman Pfaff rewrote Duke’s school record in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:53.48. Considering that this meet was only the first invitational of the season, the Blue Devils’ chart-busting finishes hint at deadly speed later in the year.


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