Maryland women’s volleyball will look to extend their win streak this weekend at the Cherry and White Challenge facing off against their final three non-conference foes, before Big Ten play begins. The Terps will face New Hampshire and Temple Friday as well as Princeton on Saturday from McGonigle Hall in Philadelphia.
Maryland Coach Adam Hughes has preached two keys to the game plan entering this tournament.
“Blocking, that is something we’re trying to improve on,” Hughes said. “We want to try and be a little more aggressive on the endline and for us it’s probably about getting back to a balanced offense.”
The Terps offensive trio of sophomore outside hitter Erika Pritchard, freshman middle blocker Rainelle Jones and senior outside hitter Liz Twilley will be key in reestablishing the balanced attack. Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Katie Meyers and Jones will look to continue to provide a net front presence.
New Hampshire (4-7) will look to bring their their record back to .500 and that all begins with their first match against Maryland. The middle blocker duo of senior Gabri Olhava and freshman Maddie Wiedenfeld lead the Wildcat offense averaging 3.20 per kills per set and 127 kills respectively. The duo of junior outside hitter Emily Tanski and junior Kennedi Smith are vital members of the defense, averaging 5.20 kills per set and 133 kills respectively.
Temple (1-8) comes into the match having lost eight games in a row, looking to put an end to the long losing streak. Despite the tough start to the season, the outside hitter duo of junior Dana Westfield and sophomore Katerina Papazoglou pace the Owl offense, combining for 152 kills thus far. Leading the defensive efforts is the duo of senior libero Mia Heirakuji who has 127 digs and senior middle blocker Carla Guennewig who has is averaging 1.09 blocks per set.
In the final match of the weekend the Terps will take on Princeton (5-3), which also defeated Colgate in straight sets earlier this season. Similar to Maryland, the Tigers offensive attack is extremely balanced. Their attack is formed by three key players: junior outside hitter Devon Peterkin, junior right side hitter Maggie O‘Connell and sophomore middle blocker Claire Linehan. As a unit they have accumulated 212 kills thus far.
Spearheading the defensive efforts for the Tigers is the duo of freshman libero Cameron Dames and senior middle blocker Nnenna Ibe. Dames has 118 kills through eight matches and Ibe uses her imposing size to block opponents attempted kills, averaging 0.75 per set up to this point in the season.
The first set begins at 11 a.m Friday, when the Terps take on the Wildcats.
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