After a tough loss against No. 6 Illinois on Wednesday, the Terps bounced back strongly in their straight-set victory over Iowa. It was a strong effort both offensively and defensively for Maryland, en route to their 14th win of the season. The match was filled with runs from both teams, but the Terps executed in important moments, propelling them to the victory.
The Terps finished with 12 blocks, a season high, as well as six service aces, two things they focused on heavily entering the match. The middle blocker duo of redshirt freshman Katie Myers, freshman Rainelle Jones and freshman outside hitter Emma Schriner all were strong at the net throughout the match.
“In practice we definitely were working on blocking and knowing the scouting report of the hitters,” Jones said. “Just really communicating with each other on the court and the coaches helps a lot when we’re blocking,” senior outside hitter Liz Twilley said.
The first set was a back and forth affair for a majority, but the Terps used a 4-0 run in the middle of the set to extend their lead to 16-10. Sophomore outside hitter Erika Pritchard and freshman Emma Schriner fueled the run with four kills. Pritchard led the Terps with 20 kills on the day, while Schriner finished with six kills and an efficient .385 hitting percentage.
In the second set, the Terps had to dig deep once again and fight back from a deficit to retake the lead a situation they have become more confident in as the season has progressed. The Hawkeyes went on a 7-0 run, to burst out to a 15-9 lead. However, the Terps maintained their composure bouncing right back putting together a 5-0 run of their own to tie the score at 18.
“Because we’ve played so many games we’re not necessarily a really young team anymore, we’re still learning a lot of things though,” freshman middle blocker Rainelle Jones said.
When the Terps retook the lead 23-22, Schriner stood tall at the net shutting down a Hawkeye attack to extend the lead to two. After Schriner’s huge block, the Terps and Hawkeyes battled back and forth on the final point. Pritchard rose up in the middle of the court and smacked a kill off the top of the net, past the diving Hawkeye defense to take set two.
“I thought this was a really good match for [Emma], she hit .385 as well,” Hughes said.
In the third set, the Hawkeyes jumped out to an early 10-5 lead looking to extend the match further. The Terps used a 6-0 scoring run once again to cut the Hawkeye lead to 15-14. After tying the score at 17, the Terps used a final 3-0 run to take control of the match. On the final point, Pritchard finished off the match with her 20th kill, surrounded by her joyous teammates.
The Terps will look to continue their success with two big conference matches on Friday against Northwestern and Sunday against No. 6 Illinois.