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DURHAM, N.C. – The Virginia volleyball team dropped a three-set match to 2010 ACC Champion Duke Saturday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium by scores of 25-17, 25-16 and 25-20. The Blue Devils clinched the conference title this weekend and improved their record to 24-5 overall and 16-3 in the ACC. Virginia falls to 14-15 on the season and 8-11 in the league.

The Cavaliers struggled offensively, hitting .088 for the match, while the Blue Devils attacked at a .274 clip. Freshman McKenzie Adams, junior Simone Asque and senior Sydney Hill shared team-high honors with five kills each, while senior AJ Cushman earned a team-high 12 digs and Adams collected 11.

For Duke, Becci Burling and Claire Smalzer each had a match-high 13 kills, while Kellie Catanach dished out 42 assists and picked up 10 digs for a double-double. Ali McCurdy earned a match-high 22 digs.

A slow start plagued the Cavaliers from the beginning of the match. Falling behind 6-1, Virginia regrouped to pull within two at 8-6, but it wouldn’t be enough to slow Duke. The Blue Devils worked their lead to six, at 15-9, forcing Virginia to call a timeout and then responded with a 5-2 run out of the intermission to take a 20-11 advantage, en route to a 25-17 victory.

Duke carried the momentum into the second set, pulling ahead 9-3 and never looked back. The Blue Devils maintained their advantage throughout the frame before closing out the set on a 5-1 run for a 25-16 win.

The Cavaliers rallied in the third set, working for 11 tie scores and an even 12-12 set score before the Blue Devils were able to pull ahead 17-14, forcing Virginia to call a timeout. The squads traded serves following the break before a 3-0 run by Duke put the Blue Devils up 23-17. Virginia responded with back-to-back points, but Duke held on to win 25-20.

Virginia will close out its regular season on Friday, heading to Blacksburg, Va., to face Virginia Tech at 7 p.m.

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