A Volleyball Split and a Field Hockey Romp

An outstanding comeback in the morning leaves the Terps volleyball team drained for their afternoon match while the field hockey team opens the season in dominating fashion.

An outstanding comeback in the morning leaves the Terps volleyball team drained for their afternoon match while the field hockey team opens the season in dominating fashion.

So, you all are talking football on a day when volleyball played two matches and field hockey opened it season in Philadelphia. Where are you priorities? Seriously, I was in Byrd Stadium and enjoyed the rout before leaving early in the fourth quarter to watch the volleyball team take on the UMBC Retrievers.

Although I didn't see the Terps take on the Ole Miss Rebels in the early match, I have some good reporting from some of the volleyball parents who did attend. The first set was all Ole Miss. The Rebels ran out to a 4-1 lead and stretched that to 10-5. They doubled up the Terps again running out to a 20-10 lead on a Maryland service error. The Terps never made a run and dropped a quick first set by a 25-13 final.

In the second set, Maryland seemed to find their footing. After an Ashleigh Crutcher kill tied the score at two all, senior libero Sarah Harper stepped back to serve and the Rebels caught a case of attack error-itis and the Terps ran off another seven straight to take a 9-2 lead. Mississippi followed with a mini run to cut the lead down to four at nine to five. The Terps responded with several 3-2 runs eventually opening up a seemingly insurmountable 17-8 lead. Seemingly, because at that point the wheels came off the bus. Ole Miss went on an 8-1 run to get themselves right back in the set. The Rebels took a side out point to bring the score to 21-18. The error-itis moved the Maryland side of the net and Mississippi ran off another five straight to take a 23-18 lead. The teams traded points and after dropping the set 25-23, the Terps found themselves down two sets to none.

Maryland started strongly in the third set behind strong serving from Amy Dion, Mary Cushman, and freshmen Ashlyn MacGregor and Julia Anderson to open a 12-7 lead. But once again, it looked as though the Terps would have trouble handling prosperity as the Rebels slowly climbed back into the set to close within one at 16-15. But this time Maryland maintained discipline and never let Mississippi to get the equalizer. A kill by MacGregor put the Terps up 21-17 and senior Mary Cushman closed out the set with an ace.

Ole Miss took control of the early in the fourth set racing out to a 7-2 lead. After an attack error by Crutcher left the Terrapins in an eight point hole at 14-6 but the Terps began to chip away outscoring the Rebels 10-4 to pull within two. A Cushman kill on an Ole Miss serve made the score 21-17 and Coach Horsmon inserted secret serving specialist, Dani Bozzini. In a stretch that featured three kills from Crutcher and two from sophomore Emily Fraik, the Terps ran off seven straight to reach set point. The Rebels staved off one point but Crutcher set Fraik for the set point.

Having rallied from a two set deficit all the momentum seemed to be on the side of the Terrapins. Unlike the previous four sets, neither team was able to grab an early advantage with the score being tied at two, three, four, five, six, and seven. After tying the score at seven, Ole Miss ran off two more to take a 9-7 lead. A kill by Adrenee Elliott ended one mini run and ignited another. Behind Amy Dion's serving, Maryland rattled off four consecutive points to move the Terrapins within three points of completing the comeback. Leading 13-10, Horsmon again inserted Bozzini and the sophomore responded with an ace to pull Maryland to match point. The Rebels saved the first but had no answer for Crutcher's twelfth kill of the match and the Terps completed a great comeback to move to 2-0.

After departing the football game early and rushing downtown from Byrd, I watched a visibly tired Terrapin squad take on the UMBC Retrievers. In a competitive first set in which neither team could gain a margin of more than three, Maryland reached set point at 24-22. However, the Retrievers ran off four straight to take the set by a 26-24 final. The Terps fell behind 10-5 early in the second but rallied to tie the score at ten. They eventually edged out in front 19-17 on a kill by Crutcher. However, they again could not sustain the momentum and the Retrievers came back to take the set by a 25-23 final. The Terps fought hard in the third set but could not overcome tired arms and minds. Despite staving off five match points, Maryland eventually fell in overtime 29-27 dropping the match in straight sets. The 2-1 Terps open their home season Friday night at 7:30 against UMKC. Tailgaters for Saturday's football game against ODU are encouraged to stop by the Pavilion at Comcast Center for Saturday's 1:30 match against LIU Brooklyn.

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In her preseason meeting with the media, Maryland's head field hockey coach Missy Meharg said, "We're going to score goals." If today's performance against the twentieth ranked New Hampshire Wildcats is any indication the 2013 Terrapins will indeed score goals as the Terps cruised to an 8-4 win.

Preseason All-ACC midfielder Maxine Fluharty opened the scoring for Maryland in the seventh minute putting back the rebound off Jill Witmer's shot. Five minutes later freshman forward Mieke Hayn extended the Terrapins lead to 2-0 driving in from the right, creating space and knocking the ball in. UNH halved the lead on a penalty stroke in the twenty fourth minute but Fluharty's fellow All-ACC performer Jill Witmer quickly put the Terps back on top by two redirecting a pass from Anna Dessoye.

Witmer's score 25:25 into the half ignited a barrage of goals for the Terps. First, junior Katie Gerzabek picked up a loose ball in front of the goal cage at the 26:51 mark. A minute and ten seconds later, Witmer was the beneficiary of a pass from Hayn and the junior forward picked up her second goal of the afternoon to extend Maryland's lead to five to one. But the Terps weren't done yet. Eighty-nine seconds after Witmer's goal, the precocious freshman Hayn crossed to Dessoye who scored her first goal completing a stretch of four Terrapin goals in just over four minutes. New Hampshire scored before the half but Maryland carried a 6-2 lead into the locker room.

Sophomore Alyssa Parker opened the scoring in the second half for the Terps. Just under five minutes in, Parker, like Witmer, was the beneficiary of a pass from Dessoye. A Maryland defensive lapse in forty-first minute led to a breakaway goal for New Hampshire. The Terrapins continued their pressure but the Wildcats goalie was hot making eight saves in the half. UNH scored a late goal off a rebound to close the gap to7-4 with just under two minutes to play. The Terps added an eighth goal on a penalty corner - only their third of the day - with time expired. senior defender Hayley Turner deflected Ali McEvoy's shot giving the defense a chance to shine on offense. Red shirt junior tri-captain Brooke Cabrera got her first career start in goal for the Terps and notched three saves in one half of play. Senior Natalie Hunter took over for Cabrera in the second half and secured a save. Maryland will take on the host Temple Owls who defeated Ohio State 4-1 Sunday at 3:30.

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