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Gymnastics, softball and ACC All-Academic news

Read about a disappointing start for softball, a gymnastics team peaking at the right time, Terps on ACC All-Academic teams, and a bit of a slap from the ACC Coaches

It's time to wrap up some Maryland news that you might have missed over the past few weeks. The ACC announced some All-Academic teams, the ACC coaches announced their awards, and the gymnastics and softball teams have seen some unreported action.


Let's start with those awards. Agreeing with the "Blue Ribbon Panel" the coaches named Diamond DeShields and Muffett McGraw as Rookie of the year and Coach of the year respectively and placed the Terps Lexie Brown on the All-Freshman Team. Brown became the fourteenth Terrapin in Coach Brenda Frese' twelve years at Maryland to earn a spot on the All-Freshman squad. Although the coaches placed Alyssa Thomas on their All-ACC Team, they voted Notre Dame's Kayla McBride as the player of the year. I'll make no further comment on that decision.


With three players honored, the Terps were one of only three schools to place more than one player on the Women's Basketball All-Academic Team. Senior Katie Rutan and sophomore Malina Howard each made the team for a second time for Maryland. Having graduated last year with a degree in International Business last year Rutan is now working on a second degree in Accounting. Howard is a Kinesiology major and Brown lists her major as Finance.

The Terps placed four on the the Field Hockey All-Academic Team. Senior All-ACC first team goalkeeper Natalie Hunter, an Environmental Science and Policy major, led the way for Maryland. She was joined by second team All-ACC members Katie Gerzabek, who won the honor for a third consecutive year, and Sarah Sprink. The sophomore made the team for a second time. Alyssa Parker, a sophomore from Woodbine, earned All-Academic honors for the first time.


On the field, Maryland's softball team got off to just about the poorest start imaginable. The Terps have opened the season dropping nineteen of their first twenty games. Although Terrapins' coach Laura Watten loaded the early schedule with some talented opponents, I think she expected this to challenge rather than decimate her team.

After dropping nine of their first ten at two tournaments in Florida, the Terps headed to the west coast for a huge challenge where they'd face three of the top fifteen teams in the country. In addition to losing to Pac-12 powers Washington, Stanford and UCLA, the Terrapins also fell rather decisively to Long Beach State and Cal-Poly as well.

The team returned east for another tournament in Florida that also featured three ranked opponents - Auburn, Oregon, and top ranked Florida. In addition to losing by lopsided scores to the ranked squads, the Terps' bats were silenced by Nebraska-Omaha and Radford.

Maryland was scheduled to open their home season with a double header against Delaware State on March fifth and then host their own tourney on the seventh and eighth. In what may have been a stroke of fortune, weather issues caused the cancellation or postponement of all those games providing a break before Maryland opens ACC play when they host Georgia Tech for a Saturday doubleheader and a single game on Sunday.


Since my last report, the gym Terps have had three meets on the road. In a four team competition in Raleigh that featured NC State, Pitt, and William & Mary, the Terps placed third despite registering their third highest score of the season. They bounced back with a season's best score of 195.425 in a meet at George Washington that featured EAGL foes GW and New Hampshire. Though the Terps took a slight step back in the team score, they defeated EAGL foes North Carolina and Pitt in the meet at Pittsburgh last Friday.

The Terps will host West Virginia on Sunday March 16th in a 2 pm dual meet that will also be Maryland's senior day. The five member senior class of Jessie Black, Katy Dodds, Elizabeth Manzi, Karen Tang, and Ebony Walters will be honored for their contributions to the Maryland gymnastics program.

Following the meet against West Virginia, the Terps will travel to New Hampshire for the EAGL conference tournament and then will await word to see if they have qualified for the NCAA Championship in April. (Update: Currently, the Terps stand fortieth in the rankings. The top 48 teams make the NCAA Tournament.)