Duke Proves Too Much For Panthers In Invite Title Match
Aug. 25, 2012
DURHAM, NC - Emily Sklar had 13 kills and Duke hit .288 for the match in claiming a 25-21, 25-11, 25-23 win over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the final match of the Duke Invitational Saturday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
After the Blue Devils (3-0) controlled the first two sets, the matchup between NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago grew interesting in the third frame. Milwaukee finally slowed the Duke offense and led most of the way before succumbing to a late rally by the home team.
"They are really big and they don't have weakness," Milwaukee head coach Susie Johnson said of the Blue Devils, who boast a top-10 recruiting class in addition to a pair of returning All-Americans. "They had three hitters coming at us all the time and it made it really hard for our hitters. We just had to work through it. We came back in that third set and really tried to push, and we did a good job of pushing but in the end didn't come through."
Kolinske added 11 digs to lead the defense, while Nicole Latzig had five blocks in the front row. But Milwaukee was outblocked, 12-6, and outdug, 48-38.
"You just have to be perfect yourselves and it was just hard for us to get any sort of rhythm going tonight," Johnson said. "We're learning from it, we'll come back and we'll fight more for next weekend."
Duke rode a fast start and a .438 hitting clip to a win in the first set. The Blue Devils took the lead for good at 6-5 and turned that into a six-point run that built an 11-5 advantage. The Duke lead grew to 15-8 on an ace and to 21-14 on a kill by Sklar. UWM settled back in at that point, pulling to within 23-19 following a kill by Kolinske and a Duke error. Milwaukee was then within 24-21 after a kill by Maggie Dunbar, but Jeme Obeime answered with a kill to finish the set.
The Blue Devils didn't let up in the second set in cruising toward control of the match. Duke bolted to a 9-3 lead in the early going and pushed the edge to 16-6 on a block by Christiana Gray and Brittney Balser. The advantage eventually grew to 19-6 and the Panthers would not be able to threaten. A kill from Gray provided the final point of the set, pushing Duke up, 2-0.
UWM looked like it was in position to extend the match in the third set. The Panthers built an 11-7 lead after a Duke error and went up 14-10 on a solo block by Neuberger. The frame was then tied at 15, 16, 18, 21 and 22 before the Blue Devils broke free, going ahead 24-22 on a UWM errors. The Panthers claimed the next point when a Blue Devil error ended a long rally, but a Duke block on the next rally ended the match.
Milwaukee returns home next weekend to host its own Panther Invitational. UWM plays Bradley and Western Michigan Friday before squaring off with SEMO and East Carolina Saturday.