I couldn't figure out how to have my butt in two places at once so I had to split my time today. I started with volleyball where the injury depleted Terps faced off against the 12th ranked Seminoles. Despite being down 3 outside hitters Cushmand, Gold and now Emily Fraik) as well as defensive specialist Kaitlyn King, Maryland jumped out to an early 6-3 lead in the first set before FSU went on a brief run to tie the match at 6. The set stayed tight with neither team able to gain much of an advantage but the Seminoles were able to eventually create a bit of breathing room running out to leads of 16-13 and 18-15. The Terps went on a run of their own to tie the score at 18 but FSU regained control taking 6 of the next 9 points. Adrenee Elliott’s kill staved off one set point but the Terps eventually dropped the set 25-22.
State came out on fire in the second set running out to leads of 5-1 and 6-2 but the gritty Terps kept battling and were able to close the to within one at 18-17. The visitors from North Georgia (er, Tallahassee) then went on a 7-0 run to close out the second set. Coming out of the break, the third set stayed close until the Terps exploded with a 9-2 run that included 2 service aces from freshman Dani Bozzini. The Terps were able to withstand FSU’s pressure as they mounted a couple of comeback attempts and held on to take the set 25-22 ending the Seminoles’ string of 13 consecutive sets in ACC play. FSU came out with a purpose in set 4 taking a quick 5-1 lead. Maryland was able to put together a brief rally to close the score to 8-7 but the visitors went on another 3 to nothing run and Coach Horsmon’s team was not able to close the gap any closer than 3 falling in the fourth set 25-17. HIghly regarded freshman setter Mackenzie Dagostino recorded a personal best 43 assists adding 10 digs to extend her team leading total of eight double doubles. Ashleigh Crutcher reacked up her 3rd double double with team highs in kills (18) and digs (11) and sophomore middle blocker Adrenee Elliott continued her impressive efficiency hitting at .417. Her season percentage of .404 is good for 5th best in the ACC. Next up for the Terps, their second trip of the year down Tobacco Road to take on UNC and NC State Friday and Saturday night respectively.
After taking in the early part of the volleyball match, I jogged over to the Field Hockey and Lacrosse complex to watch the second half of the game between Maryland and UC Davis. Despite what was reported to me as a sluggish first half, the Terps still took a 2-0 lead into the break on goals by Jill Witmer with an assist from Katie Gerzabek and freshman Sarah Sprink assisted by Maxine Fluharty. In an indication of the Terps so-so play, Davis was able to earn 3 penalty corners to the Terps one. Although they controlled the ball, the Terps looked a bit lethargic to me for the first fifteen minutes or so of the second half. They then exploded for 3 goals in the space of 4 minutes beginning with a Sarah Sprink’s rocket off a penalty corner inserted by Katie Gerzabek who scored an unassisted goal about a minute later giving her the team lead in goals by one over Ali McEvoy. Less than 2 minutes passed when freshman Alyssa Parker redirected Maxine Fluharty’s shot for her 7th goal of the season extending the Terps’ lead to 5-0. With nine minutes left in the game, Ali Mac decided she wanted to remain tied with Katie as she blasted in her ninth goal of a penalty corner. Janessa Pope and Harriet Tibble earned assists on the play. Lindsay Puckett finished the scoring knocking in her own rebound after her initial shot was blocked by the Aggies (yes, Aggies - a moniker I though was reserved for schools from places like, well, Texas) goalie. And speaking of goalies, redshirt sophomore Brooke Cabrera tallied 4 saves and a shutout in her first career start. Well done, Brooke. The Terps will take on in state rival Towson at 7 pm Tuesday night before wrapping up the ACC regular season facing off against their foe in the last 3 National Championship games (and likely to be #1 ranked) North Carolina Tar Heels on Homecoming Saturday. The game will start at 1 pm and I and just about every meeting has been an epic battle over the last several years. I urge those of you who might be tailgating to stop by and cheer them on.