You all know about the Duke football team and how they exceeded expectations. Let’s take a look at how the other fall sports teams fared.
The volleyball team finished the season at 28-5, as they fell to American in the NCAA Tournament. That came off them winning the ACC. Seven players garnered ACC honors, including Player of the Year Emily Sklar, Defensive Player of the Year Ali McCurdy, and Coach of the Year Jolene Nagel. McCurdy is the only volleyball player in ACC history to win three consecutive conference honors (defensive POY the last three seasons). She was just named a Capital One Academic All-American (third team). The senior carries a 3.43 GPA heading into her final semester at Duke (sociology major).
The field hockey team went 17-7 on the season and fell to UConn in the National Championship. It was the program’s fourth ever title game. Coach Pam Bustin was named the South Region Coach of the Year in just her third season at Duke. Three Blue Devils garnered All-American honors: back Paula Heimbach (first team), forward Emmie Le Marchand (second team), and goalie Lauren Blazing (third team). Blazing ranked fifth nationally in save percentage (.792).
The women’s soccer team finished the season ranked 18th in the country after falling in the Elite Eight (9-9-6 overall). Natasha Anasi, a third team member of the All-Southeast Region team, was invited to the USA U-23 National Team camp. She was also named to the All-ACC second team. Kim DeCesare garnered third team honors. Christina Gibbons was named to the ACC’s All-Freshmen team, along with Toni Payne.
The men’s soccer team‘s season came to an end in the ACC Quarterfinals against number one Notre Dame (8-5-6 overall). Senior defender Sebastien Ibeagha was named to the All-South Region team for the fourth straight season (second time on the first team). He also earned his second consecutive All-ACC first team honors. Junior midfielder Sean Davis was named to the All-South Region second team, along with being named to the All-ACC second team. Sophomore Zach Mathers and freshman Brody Huitema earned third team All-ACC honors. Huitema also landed on the All-Freshmen team.
The women’s cross country team finished with a 96-50 record, while the men’s cross country team finished at 97-31 with an eighth place finish at the Southeast Region Championship. Senior Juliet Bottorf finished 21st at the NCAA Nationals to garner All-American honors. She also captured the individual ACC Championship.
It was a very good fall sports season at Duke, which will officially close with the football team’s appearance in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
Can the winter sports season be just as good?