File photo by Joel Valley/The Left Bench.

Terps complete weekend sweep at Akron Invitational

The Maryland Women’s Volleyball team continued their winning ways over the weekend defeating Akron, Stony Brook and Canisius in Akron, Ohio. The Terps now move to 5-1 on the season, defeating Akron in three sets, Stony Brook in four sets and Canisius in three sets.

Sophomore outside hitter Erika Pritchard continued to build on her outstanding play in the Wake Forest tournament, finishing with her third double-double of the season (15 kills and 10 digs). Pritchard and senior outside hitter Liz Twilley have formed quite the formidable attacking duo, Twilley finishing with eight kills of her own.

Sophomore setter Nicole Alford finished with 34 assists, continuing to setup the Maryland attack. A large part in the victory was the Terps converting on more attack opportunities than the Zips, finishing with a .282 hitting percentage compared to .193 from Akron.

Three Terps posted double-digit digs, sophomore defensive specialist Samantha Burgio finished with 11, Pritchard finished with 10 and freshman libero Allegra Rivas finished with 10. Rivas once again was a vital part in defending against Akron’s attacks, showing despite her youth she will not shy away from the big stage.

In the second match, the Terps faced off against Stony Brook. an NCAA Tournament participant last season. The Sea Wolves came out of the gate strong defeating the Terps in the first set 25-17. However, the Terps bounced back quickly, winning the next three sets to secure their second victory of the weekend.

Pritchard continued to lead the Terps offensive attack finishing with a career high 22 kills, and 15 digs, posting her fourth double-double in five matches. Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Katie Meyers continues to show that last seasons’ injury is no longer affecting her, finishing with 12 kills and serving as a nice complement to Pritchard.

Similar to the first match, Alford continued to facilitate much of the Terps attack, finishing with 34 assists. The trio of Rivas, senior defensive specialist Abigail Bentz, and sophomore defensive specialist Samantha Burgio lead the charge in stopping the Sea Wolves attack finishing with a combined 32 digs. Bentz, one of two seniors on the roster, will be relied on throughout the season to maintain her leadership.

The Terps capped off the tournament with a straight set victory defeating Canisius in straight sets 25-12, 25-16, 25-23. A key part in the Terps victory was their ability to capitalize on their attacks, finishing with 48 kills compared to only 33 for Canisius.  

Building off of their thrilling win against Stony Brook, the Terps came out firing in the first set finishing with 16 kills, compared to only eight for Canisius. The 13 point margin of victory was the Terps largest this season.

Pritchard and Twilley once again showcased their offensive talents combining for 30 kills, proving too much for Canisius’ blockers. Alford continued to be the main catalyst for the offense, while also reaching a personal milestone surpassing 200 assists on the young season.

Burgio continued her strong defense a key part in stopping Canisius’ attacks as well as Rivas, finishing with a combined 28 digs. Freshman Rainelle Jones also played a key role on defense finishing with a team high five blocks.

The Terps will look to continue their winning ways back in College Park next weekend as they host Colgate, South Carolina, and Liberty in the Maryland Invitational.