DURHAM – The Duke volleyball team are ready for their final pair of road games starting with No.1 Louisville on Friday at 7 p.m., before a 1 p.m. game against Syracuse on Sunday. Both games will be broadcast on ACCNX.
Duke fell at Boston College, 3-1 (28-26, 25-13, 24-26, 27-25), Saturday in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Duke’s offensive was led by junior Gracie johnson with a career-high 22 kills and just six errors to hit 0.340% for the game. Senior Ade Owokoniran also added 15 to reach 0.303 as the Blue Devils posted a 0.271 success percentage for the game. Setter Camille Nazor 21 assists, while libero Mackenzie cole added 10 defensive digs.
TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT THE SERIES
LOUISVILLE: Louisville leads the all-time series 9-6 and has won the last six contests. The two met on Oct. 31 in Durham and Louisville claimed a 3-1 victory. The Blue Devils are 3-3 in Louisville.
SYRACUSE: The all-time series is tied 6-6 as the Orange claimed a 3-0 victory on September 26 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Duke is 4-2 in competitions at Syracuse.
SEARCH FOR OPPONENTS
LOUISVILLE: The Cardinals enter the weekend as the nation’s No.1 team with a flawless 25-0 (15-0 ACC) record. Louisville ranks in the top five of the ACC’s 10 different statistical categories and leads the conference in pass percentage (0.298) and blocks (250.0). Five different athletes have over 100 kills this season, led by outside hitter Anna DeBeer (237) and midfielder Anna Stevenson (231). Stevenson leads the ACC and ranks seventh nationally with a 0.439 pass percentage. Passer Tori Dilfer has 901 assists this year to place third in the conference and three Cardinals are in the ACC top 10 in blocks (Amaya Tillman – 115, Stevenson – 106 and Aiko Jones – 100). Louisville’s .298 team’s winning percentage is the fourth-best in the country.
SYRACUSE: The Orange (16-12) have lost five of their last six games, but recently took No.3 Pitt to five sets. Orange is led by Marina Markova with 455 kills and a 0.323 hit percentage while Polina Shemanova records with 394. As a team, Syracuse is fourth in the ACC with a 0.271 hit percentage and fifth. in blocks. Passer Elena Karakasi leads the way with 972 assists while Abby Casiano has 103.0 blocks overall this season.
COLE IS RANKED AMONG THE BEST
Senior Libero Mackenzie cole is ranked 31st on the NCAA’s Active Career Leaders list with 1,619 career searches to date. She’s also currently ranked sixth on Duke’s all-time charts and needs 18 to move up to fifth.
Cole has been one of Duke’s top defensive specialists during his time at Durham and has 21 games with over 20 digs. She has recorded a career-high 29 recoveries on two occasions (North Carolina: November 17, 2018 and Notre Dame: October 29, 2021). She also has 122 serving aces, making her the 18th player in Duke history to reach the milestone. She also became the 12th person in Duke history with 1,000 digs and 100 aces. This season, she has 382 digs for an average of 4.3 digs / set to lead the ACC and helps the team to place sixth.
ADE DOES HIS EXCAVATION
Senior outside hitter Ade Owokoniran has been in tears for the last few games, posting a whopping 0.316 hitting percentage in five games. She leads the team with 74 kills and 3.89 kills / set in the period.
In Duke’s five-set victory over Notre Dame on October 29, Owokoniran posted a record 23 kills to reach 0.385 percent. She continued that performance last weekend with 27 kills and just two errors in two games to post a 0.482 hit percentage. She was named Duke’s PNC Achievers Student-Athlete of the Week for her efforts.
Duke ends his regular season on Friday, November 26 at 6:30 p.m., against North Carolina. This game will also serve as a senior day for six Blue Devils.
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