If it doesn't happen this week, then it is very likely the Maryland Terrapins volleyball squad will not win a conference game in the 2015 season. The team will head to Rutgers for a mid-week battle Wednesday evening before welcoming them to College Park on Saturday. Both teams will be hungry for their first victories in a very long time.
The Terps haven't won since September 12th. Rutgers hasn't since the 18th of September. Something's gotta give, right?
Here's what Maryland will be looking at this week.
The Scarlet Knights are 3-17 on the season, with wins against UC Riverside, Colgate and Howard. Their latest victory came against Howard in the first match of the Rutgers Invitational. They have lost 10 straight matches since.
They recently traveled to the state of Michigan where they dropped both matches. They fell 3-1 to Michigan and lost in straight sets against Michigan State. Their third set victory over the Wolverines was only the second set they have won in Big Ten play. The other came in a 3-1 loss to Indiana.
Rutgers is forced to play a defensive match because of their extremely low hitting percentage. They hit .172 percent as a team, leading to their opponents controlling most of the match. They have four players with over 120 digs. Ali Schroeter leads the way with 220.
Meme Fletcher is the player they look towards on offense. She has 208 kills, which is many more than any other player on the roster. Fletcher, though, is certainly not in the elite category the Terps have been facing all season. She hits .172 percent.
Although her percentage is low, Fletcher is the main offensive force for Rutgers. Many teams have looked to stop her, knowing that Rutgers relies on her so heavily. Fletcher has 618 total attacks this season.
Along with their hitting problems, Rutgers struggles to serve. They only have 70 aces on the season with 137 service errors.
For the first time in a long time Maryland can actually say they are better than their opponent. That being said, they will still need to play a good match in order to claim that first conference win. Rutgers is going to be just as excited for the opportunity, so it should make for a couple fun matches.
If Maryland plays the brand of volleyball they have shown in some matches against the best teams in the country, they should win both matches convincingly. If they play careless and make simple mistakes, Rutgers certainly will have no problem taking both matches.