By AJ Poore
At match point of Maryland volleyball’s third match of the weekend, Columbia defensive specialist Vanessa Pan lined up for her serve down two points. She threw the ball up, and her serve went sailing into the net.
Just like that, the Terps found themselves at 12-0 for the first time since 2005, when the team won their first fourteen games of the season.
Maryland wrapped up their fourth tournament of the year with games against Stony Brook and Columbia after only three lost sets all season.
That didn’t change.
Maryland’s day against 5-7 Stony Brook, led by outside hitters Amiyah De’Long and Leoni Kunz, who came into the day with 129 and 127 kills respectively through twelve games.
Neither side could manage to take control of the first set early on, as Stony Brook fed off the energy provided by their bench to make big plays and stay in the game despite struggles from De’Long.
Kunz and middle blocker Abby Campbell led Stony Brook through the first set with five kills apiece, but the duo was no match for Maryland’s duo of middle blocker Rainelle Jones and outside hitter Sam Csire, who propelled Maryland to a 25-19 win.
The second set saw a seesaw affair saw the score favor Stony Brook 22-21 nearing the end of the second set, forcing Maryland head coach Adam Hughes to call his second timeout of the set.
The team came out of the timeout with more energy than Stony Brook, and they managed to finish the set on a 4-1 run to win 25-23.
The third set saw a dominant Maryland team capitalize on the momentum gained from the first two sets finish off the Seawolves 25-12, with Jones getting four of her nine total kills in the set.
Later in the day, the Terps kept their momentum up in their second match against the Columbia Lions.
Columbia came into the match strong, capitalizing on a number of Maryland mistakes to take a 10-6 lead in the first set. However the Lions could not overcome eight attack errors and four service errors in the set, and lost set one 25-21.
Maryland managed to win set one despite no points coming from star outside hitter Sam Csire. She wasn’t as kind to the Lions in the second set, putting up four kills and two aces on the Terps way to another set win, this time by a score of 25-18.
But Paula Neciporuka proved to be the star of the show for Maryland. Despite a slow third set, she seemed to be everywhere on the court. Her dazzling performance included eight kills and three aces.
While Neciporuka faded from the stat sheet late, the Terps as a whole did not, as they fought throughout the set with the Lions and battled to a twenty third straight set win 25-22.
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