File photo by Joel Valley/The Left Bench.

Maryland drops to Ohio State in four sets

The Maryland Terrapins volleyball team (17-14, 6-13) fell to Ohio State (15-15, 8-11) in four sets (18-25, 20-25, 25-21, 22-25) at the Xfinity Center Wednesday.

“Credit to Ohio State, they fought really hard and played well,” head coach Steve Aird told Maryland Sports News. “We had an off night, and I think I didn’t do enough to prepare them for tonight. We have a really young team, and we’ll work to have them ready for Friday.”

Sophomore outside hitter Gia Milana, senior middle blocker Hailey Murray and freshman outside hitter Erika Pritchard led the Terps offensively, tallying 33 kills on a combined .280 hitting clip. The trio’s offensive performance contributed to Maryland’s 50 total kills and a .254 team-wide percentage.

Maryland opened the scoring in College Park when sophomore setter Samantha Snyder followed a bad set from Ohio State with back-to-back service aces. But the Terrapins’ 3-0 lead quickly dissipated, as the Buckeyes erupted for a 6-1 run, taking the lead 6-4.

The Terps failed to find an answer for this well-prepared Ohio State squad, and allowed the Buckeyes to rapidly extend their lead to eight points, 17-9. Although Maryland countered with three consecutive points, the point differential was too much for the Terps to overcome.  

Ohio State stole the coveted first set, 25-18.

Ohio State continued to outplay the Terps in the opening stages of the second set, taking a comfortable 8-3 lead. Maryland’s poor play forced head coach Steve Aird to call a timeout.

Unfortunately for the Terps, Ohio State remained red-hot out of the break, and ran the margin to eight points, 18-10. Pritchard led Maryland to a timely 9-4 run, bringing the Terps within three points, but the Buckeyes scored three of the set’s final four points en route to a 25-20 second set win.  

Maryland’s hopes of staging a comeback gradually dwindled, as Ohio State took a 6-1 lead to begin the third set. But the Terps rallied behind their star outside hitter Gia Milana, who notched  a set-high five kills.

Ohio State and Maryland remained evenly paced in the fourth set, until the closing minutes. The Terps trailed 21-22 but the Buckeyes closed the set and the match with a 3-1 run.

The Terps return to the Xfinity Center Pavilion Friday for their final conference matchup of the season. Opening serve is slotted for 7 p.m.

Joel Valley
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Joel Valley

Volleyball Beat Writer & Photographer
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Joel has been the volleyball beat writer at The Left Bench since 2017. He is from Houston and an avid fan of the Texans, Rockets and Astros. In addition to writing, he is also a photographer – a lifelong passion of his.
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