By AJ Poore
Star outside hitter Paula Neciporuka could only watch from the bench Saturday as Maryland volleyball was swept by No. 8 Ohio State for its third straight loss.
Following a 13-0 start which included a big win against No. 2 Wisconsin, Maryland dropped two games against Minnesota and Penn State, two top fifteen teams. However, the Big Ten schedule never eases up, and a trip to No. 8 Ohio State followed for Maryland.
The match did not start out well for the Terps, as they fell to an 8-2 deficit, forcing a timeout from coach Adam Hughes.
The Terps still struggled to recover and were forced to take another timeout when Ohio State took a 13-5 lead, but Maryland began to rally after the timeout, managing to cut the deficit to two behind three kills from outside hitter Lexi Kohut.
Kohut’s large cut of playing time came because of the lack of playing time for Neciporuka, who was fresh off a twenty kill showing against Penn State.
Despite the impressive run by Maryland, they could not recover from their poor start to the set, and fell 25-21 in the first set.
Maryland seemed sluggish to begin the second set, but recovered once again to keep the set tight, only down 10-11. But the match didn’t stay close for long as Ohio State went on a 7-3 run to stretch their lead before another Maryland timeout.
The Terps again couldn’t catch up with the Buckeyes and outside hitter Mia Grunze, who had five of her eleven kills in the set. The Buckeyes took set two 25-18.
After being knotted up at two early, Ohio State found themselves on a 6-0 run behind serves from defensive specialist Kylie Murr, and five combined kills from outsider hitter Gabby Gonzales and opposite hitter Emily Londot.
From there, Maryland and Ohio State seemed to trade points, with neither side gaining a lot of momentum, but just keeping up wouldn’t suffice for a Maryland team already trailing by six, and they found themselves losing the final set 25-19.
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