Maryland women’s volleyball will look to continue its hot start to the season hosting three non-conference foes in the Maryland Invitational this weekend. The Terps will face off against Colgate, South Carolina and Liberty, at the Pavillion in the Xfinity Center.
In the first match of the weekend, the Terps will take on a Colgate (2-4) team that will look to put an end to its four-matches losing streak. Alex Stein and Alli Lowe the junior and sophomore attacking outside hitter duo lead the Raiders offense with a combined 130 kills thus far. Sophomore defensive specialist Bridget Kolsky spearheads the defensive efforts, along with freshman defensive specialist Ashley Chow. The duo have have combined for 121 digs.
Kolsky and Chow will look to limit the success of the Terps attackers, most notably sophomore outside hitter Erika Pritchard and sophomore middle blocker Jada Gardner, who have combined for 152 kills thus far. Pritchard is No. 1 in the Big Ten and 10th overall in the NCAA averaging 4.76 kills per set. Defensive freshman libero Allegra Rivas and freshman middle blocker Rainelle Jones will need to continue to their great starts to the season as well.
In the second match of the weekend the Terps will take on South Carolina (6-1), who have won two matches in a row and are looking to continue that success in College Park. Mikayla Shields and Brittany McLean junior opposite and outside hitters lead the Gamecocks attack averaging 3.28 and 2.92 kills per set respectively. Aubrey Ezell senior defensive specialist and Jess Vastine sophomore outside hitter pace the Gamecocks defense averaging 3.48 and 1.79 digs per set.
Sophomore defensive specialist Samantha Burgio and Jones will need to play their best against the Gamecocks’ high octane offense. Sophomore setter Nicole Alford will facilitate the Terps offense in what should be a fast paced battle.
In the final match of the weekend the Terps will take on Liberty (2-4), who lost its last match and are looking to move their record above its current below .500 mark. Victoria Baptista and Amelia Johnson the senior and redshirt sophomore outside hitter duo the two biggest weapons on the Flame offense have 55 and 52 kills of their own. Margaret Latchford and Anna Gragg senior defensive specialist and junior middle blocker direct the Flames defense leading the team with 94 digs and 23 blocks through six matches.
Both programs are familiar with one another after playing last season in the Liberty Invitational. Last season the Terps defeated the Flames in three sets (25-21, 25-15, 25-16). The Flames will look for revenge in this season’s matchup as the Terps look to finish their last home match of the weekend on a high note before traveling to Philadelphia to play in the Temple Invitational.
The first serve this weekend is slated for Saturday at 10:30, when the Terps battle the Raiders.
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