DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke Blue Devils came out hungry this evening, looking to make up for their first ACC loss of the season, which came in Cassell Coliseum on Oct. 14. Duke quickly went up 2-0, and though the Hokies came close to pulling out a huge comeback to send the match into a tiebreaker, the Blue Devils ran away with the fourth set, downing the Hokies, 3-1 (25-14, 25-20, 20-25, 25-23). The win lifts the first-place Blue Devils to 23-5 (15-3 ACC), while the Hokies slip to 18-11 (9-10 ACC).
The Blue Devils opened the first set with a 3-0 run, and the early lead was enough to hold off the Hokies throughout the set, grabbing an 18-9 lead and taking the first set, 25-14.
The Hokies consistently held a two-point lead during the first half of the second set, but after being down 9-7, the Blue Devils won four straight points to go up 11-9, and they never lost the lead the rest of the set, taking the second frame, 25-20.
Tech out-hit Duke .357-.237 in the third set to stay in the match with a 25-20 comeback win. The Blue Devils had a slight lead in the first half, but after falling behind 13-10, Tech rallied to tie the score at 14. The set remained close, tied 18-18, when the Hokies went on a three-point streak with the help of two kills by Justine Record to make it 21-18, and that was enough to put away the third set, and cut the Hokies’ set-deficit to one.
Duke had a small lead through the start of the fourth set, but the Hokies tied the score at 15 and then jumped ahead 17-15. Tech extended its lead to 23-19, looking as though they were about to send the match into the tiebreaking fifth set, when the Blue Devils won the final six points in a row to defeat the Hokies, 25-23, and win the match, 3-1.
The Hokies were successful at containing Christiana Grey, who entered the evening leading the ACC in hitting percentage with a .396 average, holding her to just .136 in the match, but Amanda Robertson made up for it, hitting .387 with 13 kills.
Justine Record earned her seventh double-double of the season, registering a match-leading 19 kills, with 10 digs and four service aces. Those four aces move her past Hilary Love ’95 into ninth place all time at Virginia Tech in career aces, with 123.
Cara Baarendse hit .314 with 14 kills and Felicia Willoughby added nine more kills and four blocks, hitting a team-best .368. Willoughby now has 1,263 career kills, which is just one shy of Taylor Parrish ’09, who sits in seventh place all-time at Virginia Tech. Victoria Hamsher added four blocks of her own, which moves her past Allie Kupec and into fifth place all-time for total blocks as a freshman, with 99.
Erin Leaser had a strong day in the front row, notching 45 assists, eight digs and a team-leading five blocks. Morgan O’Neill led the defense with 19 digs, and Amy Wengrenovich and Kirsten Higareda both chipped in 11.
The Hokies conclude their regular season next Friday with their final home match of the year, hosting the Cavaliers of the University of Virginia at 7 p.m.
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