Maryland volleyball will look to get back in the win column on Sunday against Iowa after a straight-set loss to No. 6 Illinois. The Hawkeyes will be the Terps first of three home games over the next week. Both teams are looking for their fifth win in the conference and a resume building win for the NCAA Tournament.
Coach Hughes has a lot of respect for the Hawkeyes, knowing no team in the Big Ten conference can be taken lightly.
“Iowa has been knocking on the door of the tournament the last couple years, they realize it’s a really important match for them,” Hughes said.
The Hawkeyes offensive attack is spearheaded by the outside hitter duo of junior Cali Hoye and senior Taylor Louis. Both Hoye and Louis are top ten in the conference in kills and will test the Terps defense throughout the match.
“They have some good outsides, a good overall team they play really scrappy,” senior outside hitter Liz Twilley said.
Freshman libero Allegra Rivas and the middle blocker duo of redshirt freshman Katie Myers and freshman Rainelle Jones will be vital for the Terps in limiting the Hawkeye attacks. The Terps defense will look for a bounce-back effort after struggling to limit the Illinois offense in the last match on Wednesday.
Entering this match, the Terps will be refreshed having a full day off on Thursday and an ability to return to their normal home match routines. The Terps are very excited to return home and play in front of their home fans.
“It’s nice that we got a true day off after being on the road six of the last seven days,” Hughes said.
“It’s exciting, we’re excited to back at home this Sunday,” sophomore outside hitter Erika Pritchard said.
The outside hitter attacking duo of sophomore Pritchard and Twilley will look to pace the Terps offense against the Hawkeye defense. Senior defensive specialist Molly Kelly is second in the conference in digs and the Terps offense will look to move the Hawkeye defense out of system not allowing her to predict where the attacks are coming from.
Myers and junior setter Samantha Snyder will be key from the service line, forcing the Hawkeye defense to shift out of system. When the defense is out of system, the offense can find the holes on the court much easier.
The Terps will look to use their additional rest and home crowd to defeat Iowa at 1:00 p.m in the Pavilion.