Memorial Day Weekend Means Postseason Play for Duke Athletics
Men’s lacrosse will be in Philadelphia on Saturday to face Penn State in the NCAA semi-finals. It’s the 14th time Duke has reached championship weekend, winning the title three times. Faceoff is noon, and the game will be shown on ESPN2.
If the Blue Devils win on Saturday, they will face either Virginia or Notre Dame in the national championship at 1 p.m. Monday, May 29.
Duke scored twice in the ninth inning Tuesday night against N.C. State to send the opening game of the ACC Tournament into extra innings, but lost 8-7 in 11 innings to the Wolfpack. The Blue Devils will face Miami at 3 p.m. Friday in Durham Bulls Athletic Park but have no chance to advance further in the ACC tournament.
However, the nationally ranked team is still expected to get a bid to the NCAA tournament. Bids will be announced on Monday, May 29. The tournament begins with regional play Friday, June 2.
ACC Honors Blue Devils Community Service
The honors this week for Duke Athletics weren’t just on the field: Four Duke student-athletes, one Blue Devil team and an on-campus organization have been honored by the ACC with the league's Top Six for Service Award. The accolade is presented annually to six members of the Duke Athletics community from each conference institution who demonstrate outstanding dedication to community service and outreach programs.
Duke baseball partnered with the Miracle League of the Triangle, a nationwide league for kids and adults with special needs. Duke University and Duke Athletics played an important role in facilitating a new field in Durham, as head coach Chris Pollard and his team opened Jack Coombs Field for the Miracle League while its field was under construction.
Other winners included Stanley Borden (men's basketball), Ja'Mion Franklin (football), Imani Lewis (women's basketball) and Sydney Yap (volleyball) were honored. Duke's United Black Athletes chapter was also an honoree.
Read more on GoDuke.com
Track & Field
Duke qualified 38 individuals for the NCAA Eastern Regional meet, which began Wednesday in Jacksonville, Fla. The regional continues through Sunday. The top 12 finishers in each event will advance to the NCAA championships, set for June 7-10 in Austin, Texas.
Among the leading Duke competitors are, on the men’s side, graduate student Robbie Otal, who holds the fourth longest discus throw in the nation this year, and Nick Dahl, who ranks in the top 10 of the men's 1500m field. Otal competes Friday while Dahl will run Wednesday night.
For the women, several competitors are ranked in the top 10. Sophomore Megan McGinnis recently won gold in the 400 and silver in the 200 at the ACC Outdoor Championships and is nationally ranked No. 4 in the 400. She joins graduate student Madison Mulder and freshmen Julia Jackson and Lauren Tolbert on Duke’s No. 2 ranked 4x400 meter relay team.
For the fourth consecutive year, Duke advanced to the NCAA championships, which will be held May 26-28 at Cooper River Park in Pennsauken, N.J. The Blue Devils enter the championship as the No. 9-seed in the Varsity Four, No. 12-seed in the Second Varsity Eight and No. 15-seed in the Varsity Eight.
The competition will be streamed on ESPN+.
Freshman Pedro Rodenas continued his impressive opening season with two victories in NCAA play and advancing to the round of 16 and earning All-America honors before losing a tight match to top seed Eliot Spizzirri of Texas 7-5, 7-6 on Wednesday. Previously, teammate Garrett Johns lost in the opening round to Siem Woldeab of Texas 6-4, 6-4.
However, in doubles play, Rodenas and Johns are still competing. They upset 4th seed Trent Bryde and Ethan Quinn of Georgia 6-4, 7-6 to advance to the round of 16 on Thursday.
In a tight, thrilling match, Duke women's tennis senior Chloe Beck had her season come to a close Wednesday in the round of 16 at the NCAA Singles Championship, losing to Layne Sleeth of Oklahoma 3-6, 7-6, 7-6. Senior Georgia Drummy had advanced to the round of 32 but lost Tuesday to Kari Miller of Michigan 7-5, 7-5.
The men’s golf team came from behind on the last day of NCAA regional competition Wednesday in the Norman, Okla., to secure a spot in the national championships. The team now advances to the national championships to be held in Scottsdale, Ariz., on May 26-31.
The tournament will be broadcast on the Golf Channel.
Senior Erica Shepherd closed her collegiate career on Monday by carding a 3-under-par, 69, on her way to placing tied for 14th, individually, at the NCAA Championship in Scottsdale, Arizona. It marked her highest finish at the NCAA Championship. Four other Blue Devils, Andie Smith, Phoebe Brinker, Anne Chen and Megan Furtney also reached the championship but didn’t qualify for the final round.