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Maryland Volleyball Preview September 12 and 13

The Terps head back down to North Carolina for the toughest tests so far in their inaugural B1G season

Streeter Lecka

Volleyball hits the road again this weekend headed back down to North Carolina. This trip takes them to Boone, N.C. for a tournament hosted by Appalachian State. The Terps open with Radford on Friday at 4:00PM. Saturday brings matches against Georgia State at 10:00AM and Appalachian State at 7:00PM.

Radford is 6-2 on the season with a major upset scored last weekend over California. The Highlanders are led by junior Rachel  Wiechecki with 3.19 kills per set. They don't rate out highly defensively but like the Terps have found ways to win.

Saturday begins with Georgia State (2-5). The Panthers have wins versus Bethune-Cookman and Jacksonville State but have struggled otherwise. Junior Dede Bohannon leads in kills (3.44 per set). Georgia State also has not impressed on the defensive end (1.74 blocks per set and 12.70 digs per set). First year head coach Sally Polhamus arrived from Florida and was an assistant at Georgia Tech.

The nightcap pits Maryland against the host Appalachian State (8-0). App State have had a tremendous start to the season having only dropped 3 sets and have quality wins against Tennessee and Louisville. Junior Emily Corrigan leads in kills with 5.08 kills per set which ranks 6th in the country. But its not a one woman show. Overall they rank 10th in the nation in kills per set and 35th overall in team hitting percentage.

By week three, unless a team has major injury concerns, they should begin to take on the look of who they will be during the season. A second straight week with all major contributors healthy should bring improved cohesion and efficiency. Some strides were made at Mason but to compete nightly at a high B1G level, the gains need to be demonstrated consistently. Ball control, defense and blocking need to become staples of Maryland's identity.

Maryland is fully capable of defeating all three opponents this weekend. However, the increased quality of the teams along with a third consecutive weekend on the road add up to at least one loss. My guess is App State takes down the Terps.