Sportswrap: Softball rises to No. 1 with win against North Carolina, men's lacrosse drops top-3 clash with Notre Dame

Ana Gold (left) and Cassidy Curd (right) celebrate during Duke's win against Charlotte.
Ana Gold (left) and Cassidy Curd (right) celebrate during Duke's win against Charlotte.

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 April 1-7.


Looking to build on last week’s momentum, the ninth-ranked Blue Devils rolled through their slate, going 4-0 and securing another ACC series win. Duke (24-8, 9-6 in the ACC) opened with a 9-4 victory midweek in Lynchburg, Va., against Liberty behind the bats of Ben Miller and AJ Gracia, each tallying three RBIs, and a nine-man bullpen effort. The team then made the trip back to Jack Coombs Field for a thrilling weekend, sweeping Miami in three one-run games. Friday’s pitchers’ duel went to the bottom of the ninth inning, where Miller added a clutch walk-off single to his stellar offensive season. Strong situational hitting from senior captain Alex Stone put the Blue Devils up 5-4 Saturday, after which closer Charlie Beilenson clinched the series with 2.1 lockdown innings. Duke exploded in the eighth inning Sunday, capped off by an RBI ground-rule double by none other than Miller, to even things up after a six-run deficit. Wallace Clark went on to walk it off with an RBI single to end the weekend. Up next for the Blue Devils is a midweek game against William and Mary before a trip to Pittsburgh. -Josh Alms


No. 2 Duke took on a pair of North Carolina public universities this week, notching a 6-1 victory against Charlotte Wednesday, and sweeping a three-game set against the Tar Heels over the weekend. Right fielder Claire Davidson had a career weekend against North Carolina, going deep three times en route to a five-hit, six-RBI weekend, including two shots Sunday against Kenna Raye Dark, the Tar Heel ace and one of the best pitchers in the ACC. On Saturday, the Blue Devils (33-3, 13-2) won 8-0 in a contest that ended early due to the run-ahead rule. Duke starting pitcher Cassidy Curd tallied a career-high 12 strikeouts in her seventh career complete game. Next up, the Blue Devils take a short trip to Greenville, N.C., to face off against East Carolina Tuesday — and ranked No. 1 nationally for the first time in history. -Myles Powicki

Men’s lacrosse

No. 3 Duke had 10 days of rest since its win against Boston University as it prepared to take on No. 1 Notre Dame Sunday at Koskinen Stadium. The Blue Devils’ sold-out home matchup, a rematch of the 2023 national championship game, didn’t go as planned as the Fighting Irish handed head coach John Danowski’s team its third loss of the season, leaving Duke (10-3, 0-2 in the ACC) winless in conference play. Down 8-4 at the halftime break, the Blue Devils’ second-half comeback wishes never came true despite a four-goal effort from graduate attacker Dyson Williams. With considerable effort, the team was able to tie the game at 11-11 late in the fourth quarter, but the Fighting Irish broke free once more and eventually conquered the hosts 15-12. The Blue Devils now look to their next big challenge as they take on No. 2 Virginia at Koskinen Sunday. -Colton Schwabe

Women’s lacrosse

No. 23 Duke’s two games could not have gone more differently. Campbell came to Durham Monday and was dealt a brutal first-quarter hand. The Blue Devils (9-6, 3-4) stacked eight goals in the opening frame, eventually winning 16-2 in an all-around domination to make it three straight. That streak came to an end Saturday in South Bend, Ind., when No. 6 Notre Dame took Duke for a first-half ride. The Fighting Irish had five players tally hat tricks, and senior all-star attacker Katie DeSimone’s three were no match as the Blue Devils fell 19-7. She still leads the nation in goals and points. Duke comes home Friday for senior day against Louisville. -Rachael Kaplan

Men’s tennis

No. 17 Duke continued its hot streak this week, defeating No. 22 North Carolina 5-2 for its fifth-consecutive victory. The Blue Devils (16-7, 8-2) got off to a hot start in the doubles as the top tandem of Garrett Johns and Pedro Rodenas won, and Faris Khan and Teddy Truwit clinched the point on court three. In the singles rounds, Johns and Rodenas led the way, both winning in straight sets. Khan fittingly clinched the match on senior day with a 6-1, 6-2 defeat of Anuj Watane, while graduate student Andrew Zhang won a third-set tiebreaker 10-6 against Karl Poling. Duke finishes up its regular season with two matches against Wake Forest and N.C. State this weekend. -Ranjan Jindal

Women’s tennis

The 20th-ranked Blue Devils had a split weekend with a 6-1 defeat of Virginia Tech Friday and a close loss 4-3 to Virginia Sunday afternoon. Graduate student Brianna Shvets collected her 100th win Friday with her 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win against the Hokies’ Erika Cheng, but the momentum from Friday’s win did not continue to Sunday’s senior day celebrations. After dropping the doubles point, Duke (13-6, 6-4) came out against the Cavaliers and was able to win the first singles set on four of the six courts. The match came down to courts 1 and 4 as sophomore Katie Codd and junior Emma Jackson’s matches were forced to a third set. Despite battling and forcing the third set to a tiebreaker, Codd’s victory came too late as Jackson had already fallen 6-1, 5-7, 4-6. The Blue Devils wrap up their regular season with a Friday trip to Notre Dame ahead of a Sunday finale at Louisville. -Anna Newberry

Women’s golf

While Duke tackled a week of training, two Blue Devils — graduate student Emma McMyler and senior Phoebe Brinker — headed to Augusta, Ga., for the Augusta National Women’s Amateur (ANWA). The two competed against top amateurs worldwide, and although neither qualified for the competition’s final round, their performances marked the 14th and 15th by Duke golfers since ANWA’s inaugural competition in 2019. Brinker opened the first round hitting +3 and finished round two with a score of +7. McMyler tied Brinker closing out day two, having shot +7 and then +3 across her respective first and second rounds. The Blue Devils will reconvene in competition at the April 18-21 ACC Championship in Wilmington, N.C. -Ryan Kilgallen

Track and field

At the VertKlasse Meeting in High Point, N.C., this weekend, the Blue Devils won several events and grabbed a new meet record thanks to junior Samantha Wallenstrom. On Saturday, Wallenstrom took to the oval for the women’s 800m and never looked back, coming away with the win in 2:08.68 to break the previous meet record by two seconds. On the field, graduate students Tia Rozario and Ezra Mellinger dominated the horizontal jumps, winning the women’s triple jump and men’s long jump, respectively. In the men’s javelin, sophomore Matthew Prebola and graduate student Joseph DiDario went for a 2-3 finish, followed along by graduate student Kirstin West with a second-place finish for the women. Duke’s high-jump program had similar success, with graduate student Beau Allen and senior Addie Renner claiming second and third in the men’s and women’s high jump, respectively. This coming Thursday through Saturday, the Blue Devils will stay home to continue their outdoor campaign at the Duke Invitational. -Prithvi Kotapati


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