No. 13 Duke Outlasts Volleyball, 3-1
RALEIGH, N.C. NC State took a game from No. 13 Duke on Thursday, Oct. 4, at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, but ultimately fell, 3-1. Alex Smith and Lauren Zaniboni each put up double-double performances in front of a raucous crowd of 1,492, but the Blue Devils, led by 2006 ACC Player of the Year Ali Hausfeld, refused to be denied. The match marked the first time that the Pack had collected a game from Duke since 2003. With the loss State falls to 3-13 (0-6 ACC), while the Blue Devils climb to 11-3 (6-0 ACC).
The win marks the 16th-straight league decision, and sixth overall, that Duke has captured.
Smith (35 assists, 17 digs) and Zaniboni (15 kills, 10 digs) fronted the Pack’s spirited play. Ashley Wallace was simply sensational, especially around the net, with eight total blocks, six kills, a dig and a service ace for good measure. Nikki Sweet had a team-high 21 digs, and the squad secured 14 total team blocks.
Hausfeld lived up to her billing despite six ball handling errors, lifting 59 assists, seven kills and seven digs for the Blue Devils. Jourdan Norman (16), Carrie DeMange (15), Rachel Moss (15) and Sue Carls (12) all racked up double-digit kill totals, and Jenny Shull notched 25 digs.
In all, Duke out-hit State .224 to .103. The Pack’s clip, however, was its second best of the year in conference play.
The Pack kept things at a neck-and-neck pace throughout all of the night, especially in the opening game. But despite tying the score and taking the lead on several occasions, Duke moved ahead for good in the first game at 16-15 on a Brittany Staffeil kill. The red and white would only manage seven more points from that point forward, falling 30-23.
State stepped up in the second frame, refusing to wilt after the Blue Devils forged ahead towards the end of game one. A Moss service error early on put the Pack up 1-2, and head coach Charita J. Stubbs team stayed out in front for the rest of play, ultimately winning 26-30. A DeMange kill shrank State’s lead to 26-27, but the Wolfpack grabbed the next three points to collect the game.
Duke came back with a vengeance in games three and four, taking both 30-25 and 30-19 respectively. Despite dropping the games, however, State played arguably its best volleyball of the season. The Pack, in fact, never trailed by more than five in the third stanza, but managed only seven kills in the fourth and final contest.
NC State will return to the courts this Saturday, Oct. 6. The Pack will host Wake Forest at 6 p.m. in Reynolds Coliseum on the NC State campus.