Duke Update: Will Blue Devils Bedevil Penn State?

Cameron Indoor Stadium
Cameron Indoor Stadium

Goduke.com has posted its preview of the Blue Devils (6-1, with a four match winning streak, including a 3-1 victory over Colorado State on Wednesday), who face off against Penn State on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Here are some highlights:

* Duke tops the ACC with a .295 hitting percentage, led by 6-1 sophomore Sophia Dunworth (.365), 6-5 freshman Christiana Gray (.364), 6-3 sophomore Amanda Robertson (.333) and 6-1 junior Becci Burling (.313);

*6-2 sophomore setter Kellie Catanach has Duke among the top two in the ACC in hitting percentage and kills per set);

*Duke averages 2.52 blocks per set as a team (Penn State, with 54.5 in 18 sets, averages just over 3.0).

5-10 Senior Rachael Moss — Duke’s active leader in kills, digs and service aces — is key, as she showed against Colorado State, registering 13 kills, 14 digs and a match-high four service aces (including three in a row in the 25-13 fourth-set victory).

The Nittany Lions are undefeated, haven’t lost a set this season, hit .702 against Buffalo — a new Big Ten record for single-match hitting percentage — and have extended Penn State’s NCAA-record winning streak to 70 consecutive matches and 114 consecutive regular-season sets. Senior OH Megan Hodge is leading Penn State with 4.00 kills/set, followed by Freshman OH Darcy Dorton (3.17 k/set), Junior Opp. Blair Brown 2.89 k/set) and MH Arielle Wilson (1.89 k/set). Junior MH Fatima Balza leads in blocks with 1.50/set, with Arielle Wilson at 1.33/set and Blair Brown at .78 per set.

Senior Setter Alisha Glass leads the Nittany Lions with 11.22 assists/set, while Junior Alyssa D’Errico leads the team with .61 service aces/set. D’Errico is averaging 3.44 digs/set, with Megan Hodge second on the team at 3.00 digs/set, and Alisha Glass at 2.28 digs/set.

Duke is a good team, with nice height, but the conventional wisdom appears to be Penn State will out-quick them and take home the trophy.