Maryland volleyball will have plenty of motivation facing off against Indiana in Bloomington on Sunday. It will be the first time the Terps have the opportunity to face off against their old head coach, Steve Aird, as well as an opportunity to end the current three match losing streak.
Aird is familiar with many players on the Terps roster, while Hughes is very familiar with Aird’s strategy. Hughes served as an assistant coach under Aird for four seasons before his departure. The Hoosiers are looking for their fifth conference victory, while the Terps are looking for their fourth conference win looking to build momentum in conference play moving forward.
The Hoosiers enter the match at 13-7, with a 4-5 record in conference play. Their offensive attack is led by the trio of freshman outside hitter Breana Edwards, redshirt junior outsider hitter Kendall Beerman and junior middle blocker Dyeisha Lofton. Edwards leads the Hoosiers with 222 kills, followed closely behind by Lofton with 186 and Beerman with 179.
All three provide the Hoosiers with a solid offensive balance, which means that the Terps blockers will have to be at their best. Although they have strong balance, the Hoosiers have the third worst hitting percentage in the conference at .213. Redshirt freshman Katie Myers and freshman Rainelle Jones will have their hands full, but will need support from the backline as well. Freshman libero and senior defensive specialist Abigail Bentz must stay strong on the backline, when the pass makes its way past the blockers.
The outside hitting duo of sophomore Erika Pritchard and senior Liz Twilley will need to build off their strong performance against Purdue. Despite the loss, Pritchard and Twilley both finished with 17 kills. Freshman outside hitter Emma Schriner and Myers will also be important contributing to the offensive balance, making it difficult for the Hoosier blockers.
Lofton and freshman middle blocker Lexi Johnson lead the Hoosiers in average blocks per set this season. Offensive balance and capitalizing on their opportunities have been the Terps keys to success thus far this season.
The Terps will look to win their second game of the Indiana road trip at 1:00 p.m before facing off against No.7 Illinois next week.