By AJ Poore
Maryland’s impressive 13-0 start to the season came to an end Sunday, as the Terps were swept by No. 9 Minnesota, 3-0.
The Terps struggled to create offense throughout the day, suffering thirty-five attack errors compared to Minnesota’s eight.
“You get a really good team like that the opportunity to get a big lead and, you know, they did a good job managing the game,” head coach Adam Hughes said after the loss.
Maryland entered the game fresh off the biggest win in program history, beating No. 2 Wisconsin in five sets. However, the team barely had a chance to celebrate the big win, as they played No. 9 Minnesota only two days later.
Outside hitter Jenna Wenaas began the match strong for Minnesota, amassing four kills and pushing Minnesota to a 14-9 lead, prompting Maryland head coach Adam Hughes to take a timeout.
However the Terps could not recover from their frustrating start to the match, and were held to a -0.167% hitting percentage in a first set loss, 25-13.
Maryland struggled to recover in the second set. The Terps fell behind 11-3 early in the set before a timeout. By this point in the match, the Terps already had twenty-one attack errors, with seven coming in just the second set.
Maryland star outside hitter Sam Csire couldn’t manage to get going at all in the first two sets, only managing one kill compared to eleven errors.
Attack errors continued to haunt the Terps throughout the match, as they added seven more before the end of a second set loss, 25-12.
Early in the third set, Maryland managed to compete with Minnesota for the first time inthe match, keeping the score within three points, but after Maryland made the score 13-14, Minnesota went on an 8-1 scoring run to blow the game open.
From there, it was only a matter of time before Minnesota finished the final set, with a 25-16 third set win led by Wenaas’ and opposite hitter Stephanie Semedy’s eleven kills each throughout the match.
Maryland still won’t get a chance to rest after the loss, as they have No. 20 Penn State coming to College Park Wednesday night. The dangerous Nittany Lions squad features former Terp Erika Pritchard, who will make her first visit to College Park in different colors.
“They don’t seem to really seem to be interested in those battles we’ve always talked about in the past,” Hughes said. “I think we’ve been able to teach them a little bit where it’s not about individuals, it’s about programs.”
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