Wednesday night's first leg of the trip west to face the Purdue Boilermakers for the Maryland Terrapins volleyball team looked on paper to be a daunting task and one that the Terps could, at best, best hope to keep competitive as they had in the previous meeting between the two teams which had the Terps up a set early in College Park. But this time the first set did not go well for the Terps and they would drop the match in straight sets by scores of 25-15, 25-18, and 25-17.
The Boilermakers got things started early and were generously and unnecessarily aided by a series of Terrapins miscues. A serve receive error, ball handling error and three attacking errors pushed the Purdue lead to six and forced Maryland's first timeout trailing 10-4. The Boilermakers kills and Maryland errors continued to mount before Coach Aird took his final timeout with Purdue leading 20-11. The Terps never put the home team under any pressure and the Purdue was content to trade points until they finished off set one 25-15. The Terps hit .136 with 8 kills while Purdue hit .292 with 12 kills.
The second set started similarly to the first with the Boilermakers racing out to a 10-3 lead. After a Maryland timeout, both teams sided out consistently and Purdue was able to maintain the lead at 16-9. A quick run by the Terps, spurred by three kills from Ashleigh Crutcher and aided by kills from Emily Fraik and Catie Coyle, narrowed the lead to 19-15. However, Purdue buckled down to go on a 6-3 run to close out set two 25-18. Purdue raised their offensive output with 14 kills on .323 efficiency. The Terps managed only 8 kills again on .062 efficiency.
The third and final set was a bit of an improvement for Maryland. Early on Purdue's lead was only one point at 8-7. Five Boilermaker kills abd a service ace sandwiched around one Maryland point led to the first timeout of the set at 14-8. Maryland fought back to cut the lead to four but a service error caused their last timeout with Purdue leading 19-14. From that point, the Terps only scored three more times and Purdue completed the sweep 25-17.
While the Terps played much better with 12 kills on a .219 hitting percentage, the Boilermakers hit a blistering .500 with 17 kills. Three Maryland players hit above .200 led by Crutcher with 12 kills, followed by junior Emily Fraik's 7 kills on a .316 percentage and freshman Hailey Murray added 3 kills on six attacks with only one error. Sharing setting duties, Whitney Craigo and Carlotta Oggioni had 12 and 11 assists respectively.
Statistically, the match was as one sided as the score. Purdue out hit Maryland .373 to .140. They had seven service aces to Maryland's one. The Terps had only 20 digs to the Boilermakers' 34 and Maryland never got their sideout percentage above 47 while Purdue's didn't fall below 61 percent.
Thing get no easier for the Terrapins as they continue the on the road this weekend with a trip to Lincoln to face #11 Nebraska in front of an always large and hostile crowd. Saturday's match can be seen on BTN2GO.