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Previewing women's volleyball against Minnesota and Wisconsin

The Terps welcome two ranked teams this weekend as they look to grab their first conference victory of the season.

Jake Spitz

This is going to be a tough weekend for Maryland volleyball. There isn't any other way to put it without making this team appear as if it's something it's not. This weekend, the Terps will take on two of the best teams in the land in No. 11 Minnesota and No. 16 Wisconsin in College Park. As head coach Steve Aird always says, look for the team to compete and play hard.


After defeating a solid Illinois team in five sets last weekend, Minnesota had one of the biggest jumps in the national rankings this week. After finishing 16th in the previous polls, the Golden Gophers are now just one spot shy of being a top 10 team.

Minnesota started out 0-2, losing to Stanford and Texas A&M to open the season. They are a team that has been tested all year, and has done very well considering their tough schedule. Following their loss to Stanford, they rattled off nine straight victories. The Gophers' streak was stopped in a match against Penn State, where they lost 3-2. Since then they have won their past two matches, sitting at an 11-3 record with a 3-1 mark in conference play.

The Golden Gophers are a very efficient team offensively. They hit extremely well, coming in at 24th in the country with a .265 hitting percentage. They know how to compete against elite competition, and they don't not play down to their opponents.

Outside hitter Daly Santana does it all for her team. She leads the Golden Gophers with 232 kills, and has over 300 more attack attempts than any other player on the squad. The 2014 AVCA All-American honorable mention averages an incredible 5.01 points per set, and owns a .247 hitting percentage.

Santana was also an All-Big Ten honorable mention last season. Her ability to play well on offense and defense is what makes her such a special talent. She is second on her team in digs with 135. She leads Minnesota in service aces as well. Santana does whatever the team needs her to do, which is why she is one of the best players in the Big Ten.

Match Info:

WHO: Maryland vs. No. 11 Minnesota

WHEN: Friday, October 9th. 7PM

WHERE: Xfinity Pavilion

HOW TO FOLLOW: BTN+, live stats on, or @TerpsVolleyball on Twitter


The Badgers come to College Park sporting a 10-4 record (2-2 in Big Ten play). Their conference losses came against Penn State and Ohio State, who own the first and third spots in the conference standings. Before coming to College Park on Saturday night, they will face Rutgers on Friday.

Wisconsin defeated Illinois and Northwestern last weekend, bumping the team up from No. 19 to No. 16 in the rankings this week.

Unlike Minnesota, who relies on the talent of one main player to get the job done, Wisconsin has an extremely balanced team. The team currently has four players with over 100 kills on the season. Kelli Bates and Lauryn Gillis lead the team with 160 and 151, respectively. Bates also leads the team with 3.59 points per set.

Libero Taylor Morey leads the team in digs with 225, but there are also four other players on the team with more than 100 this season. They play extremely well defensively and will make it tough for the Terps to score throughout the night.

Wisconsin's offensive efficiency heavily relies on the shoulders of its setters. Lauren Carlini is ninth in the country in assists per set. She averages 11.56. Wisconsin as a team is also ranked ninth, with an average of 13.42 assists per set.

Match Info:

WHO: Maryland vs. No. 16 Wisconsin

WHEN: Saturday, October 10th. 7PM

WHERE: Xfinity Pavilion

HOW TO FOLLOW: BTN+, live stats on, or @TerpsVolleyball on Twitter


Maryland is playing better volleyball recently, which could allow them to push these matches to four, maybe five sets. In the end, the talent of Minnesota and Wisconsin will likely be enough for them to defeat the Terrapins.