Maryland volleyball made program history Saturday night, defeating Ohio State in straight-sets for their eighth conference win. Eight conference victories is the most the Terps have had since joining the Big Ten in 2014. It is also the first time the Terps have swept the Buckeyes in program history.
The Terps have now won four of their last five matches the only loss coming against No. 4 Illinois and are looking to continue to build their NCAA tournament resume.With the win, the Terps move to 17-11 and 8-8 in the conference.
Entering the match, offensive efficiency and balance was key for the Terps. Strong defense both at the net and backline, was another focal point on Saturday night. Maryland held the Buckeyes to a .178 hitting percentage, including .000 in the third set. The duo of freshman libero Allegra Rivas and sophomore outside hitter Hailey Rubino each finished with eight digs. Sophomore setter Nicole Alford led the Terps finishing with four blocks.
The Terps finished the match with a .333 hitting percentage, their highest total in a conference match thus far this season. In the first two sets, the Terps averaged a .363 hitting percentage finding gaps in the Buckeye defense. Sophomore outside hitter Erika Pritchard led the way with 14 kills, while freshman outside hitter Emma Schriner finished with seven kills. Both players finished with greater than a .300 hitting percentage, constantly attacking the Buckeye defense.
Redshirt freshman middle blocker Katie Myers had a strong match as well. Myers hit .857, finishing with six kills on the night as well as four service aces. Myers is the conference leader in aces and used her strong serve to move the Buckeye defense out of system. Junior setter Samantha Snyder finished with two aces as well.
The Terps won the first two sets by two points each, executing in important moments down the stretch, a sign of growth from a young team. In set one the Terps had a 24-19 lead, but Ohio State mounted a 5-0 run of their own to tie the score back at 24. Despite losing the lead, the Terps maintained their composure to close out the set. Back to back kills by Myers and senior outside hitter Liz Twilley closed out the Buckeyes in set one.
Set two was a similar story, a back and forth affair, with neither team able to establish a large lead. After the Buckeyes tied the score at 20, the Terps did not allow them to regain the lead for the remainder of the set, using a 3-0 run to take the lead 23-20. On set point, Schriner continued to show her growth in her freshman season, ending the set with a kill on the assist Alford.
After a tightly contested first two sets, the Terps used a 10-1 run to emphatically close out the match. After a kill from sophomore setter Becca Mauer, the Terps were leading 14-11 in the third set. The duo of Pritchard and Myers sparked the Terps run, finishing with three aces and three kills. Freshman middle blocker Rainelle Jones came up big once again, capping off the match with a kill surrounded by her joyous teammates.
The Terps will now return home to College Park hosting two top ten conference foes beginning with No. 3 Minnesota on Friday at 7:00 p.m in the Pavilion.