File photo by Joel Valley/The Left Bench.

Maryland volleyball misses NCAA tournament

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 2005the 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.

Head coach Steve Aird was not immediately available for comment.

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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