Duke 3, American 0

Dec. 2, 2005

Lincoln, Neb. -- A dual attack from Sarah Salem and Carrie DeMange lead Duke University (24-7) to a 3-0 (30-14, 30-16, 30-16) win over American University (25-10) and secured the Blue Devils a spot in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Americans Tealle Hunkus opened the first game with a service ace, one of few bright spots for the Eagles as Duke rolled in game one. Duke followed with an 8-0 run highlighted by kills from four different players.

Leading 15-6, DeMange and Salem each snagged two kills during a 7-1 run to put the game away for good as American never got within 13 points. Americans Cutrina Biddulph led the Eagles with four kills on .500 hitting in the game, while Dukes DeMange finished with four kills on .600 hitting while also snagging three blocks.

Duke came out flying again in game two with an 8-2 run, as its depth proved to be too much for the Eagles with the first four kills again coming from four different players. DeMange led the Blue Devil attack in game two with five kills, three digs and a block on .636 hitting.

American pulled to within 13-11 led by two kills from Elizabeth Maloney before Duke responded with an 8-1 run led by two kills from Salem that put the Blue Devils ahead 21-12. Following that run, American never got closer than within 10 points.

Duke wrapped up the match with the same dominance in game three as Salem led the attack with six kills and five digs on .857 hitting. Salem snagged four kills in her first four efforts as the Blue Devils opened with a 9-3 run. Biddulphs effort of four kills on .308 hitting was not enough to spark an American comeback.

Salem led Dukes hitting effort with 14 kills while also picking up seven digs and one block on .684 hitting. DeMange and Tealle Hunkus rounded out the Blue Devil effort of double-figures, snagging 12 and 11 kills, respectively. The duo was also both one point short of a double-double as they each grabbed nine digs.

Biddulph was the bright spot for the Eagles as she finished with nine kills and two blocks, while Duke held five American players to negative hitting.

The Blue Devils finished todays match with a season-high hitting percentage of ..494. Their previous best was a .352 mark on Sept. 30 against NC State.

American entered todays match hitting .274, while Duke held the team to just .075 hitting, including -.080 hitting in the first game.

The loss to Duke is Americans second loss in 15 matches. This is the fifth straight year and seventh time in school history American has played in the NCAA Tournament. The Eagles are 0-8 all-time in the tournament.

Duke has now won 13 of its last 14 matches, including nine straight, and is 4-1 in neutral arenas and 7-6 on the road. The win improves the Blue Devils to a 6-10 mark in the NCAA Tournament.

Duke advances to play the winner of the Nebraska-Alabama A&M match tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Postmatch Quotes
American Head Coach Barry Goldberg
This was not a great effort from us. We were a little off balance to start with. Duke played pretty well and took us out of our game. They didnt make a lot of errors and obviously we did.

Our defense hurt us most of all. Even when we did serve well, theyd pass the ball and they were able to hit a decent shot we werent able to counter with any defense to come back at them with. That was the difference.

Weve struggled early in just about every match weve been in at the NCAA tournament. Usually as time went on, we would get into a little bit of a groove and come back in the second or third game to hang in there. But it didnt have as much capability to do that in this one. Duke was solid, and they didnt make a lot of errors.

Middle Blocker Cutrina Biddulph
This is definitely disappointing. Usually during practices we compete a lot harder. I just feel that we would have been a lot more successful if we would have come out like we do every day in practice.

Duke Coach Jolene Nagel
Opening Statement
"We're excited to get through that first match and to be able to play well as a team. They served tough and our service receive was good to give ourselves a lot of opportunity. I'm happy that we were able to pass solidly and to execute all the way around. I'm really pleased with our team's effort and focus.

On American recording only 17 digs
"I really don't know how that happened, I'm just glad it wasn't my team that had 17 digs. We focus a lot on defense in practice, and that's one of the areas I get most excited about. I don't know how that happened, I'm just excited that we were able to take care of the ball when it came on our side of the net."

On facing Nebraska
"We're excited for the opportunity, we know Nebraska's had a great year. Our team has done a great job of looking at the next opponent and refocusing from there. The team has been great at maintaining focus from one match to another. I didn't want to look past this match. I know American has been to the NCAA Tournament so many times. Now we'll get down to business and prepare for NU. We'll give it our best shot."

Setter Ali Hausfeld
On the match
"I think there was some extra focus since we missed the tournament last year, and we were upset about that. We were kind of playing with a chip on our shoulder, wanting to prove that we're supposed to be here and I think that really helped."

Middle Blocker Carrie DeMange
On the match
"We were ready to come into the tournament and we were all excited to be here. We were pumped up to start the game. We knew we had to play well. We all got fired up and were enjoying ourselves."

On facing Nebraska's block
"Our setting system is definitely a faster system, so I'm hoping that will take away some of the block. We'll have to aim for higher hands. We need to be smart and hit our corners and try to get past their block."

-- Courtesy Nebraska