Maryland’s volleyball season came to an end Sunday evening, as the Terrapins were the first squad left out of the 2017 NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament.
Despite the disappointing news, the program has plenty to be proud of.
“We had the No. 9 recruiting class in the country and we had three of four Big Ten teams ahead of us,” head coach Steve Aird said at the beginning of the season. “I don’t care what the other teams in the Big Ten are doing. I’m not concerned with that at all. I just want us to get better every day and every week.”
And they did get better.
The Terrapins’ 11-0 record to begin the season marked Maryland’s best start to a season since the Terps went 14-0 in 2005—the year of their last tournament appearance. Accordingly, Maryland’s 18 wins on the season were a program-high since 2010, while their seven conference wins were the squad’s most since joining the Big Ten.
Their achievements did not come easily, either. With junior libero Kelsey Wicinski and redshirt freshman Katie Myers suffering early-season injuries, head coach Steve Aird looked toward his underclassmen for an impact off the bench.
These new recruits quickly made their strengths known, and Erika Pritchard is quite possibly the greatest example. The freshman led the conference in serving, tallying 0.42 service aces per set.
My beautiful 7 year old daughter MJ was in full tears. We were not good enough to make the tourney. And I got to teach her that the beauty is never in the result, but the journey.
And for that…I am forever grateful.#TerpsRising
— Steve Aird (@CoachAird) November 27, 2017
Head coach Steve Aird was not immediately available for comment.