Fresh off a 2-1 record at the Kristen Dickmann Invitational, the Maryland Terrapins traveled to the University of Oklahoma to face their final test before Big Ten conference play begins. Their first match of the three-match invitational ended in a 3-0 loss to the University of Washington.
Behind the strong play of Liz Twilley, Emily Fraik, and Adreene` Elliott, the Terps were able to hang around early on in the first set, keeping the score close at 10-8. Washington began to pull away at that point, making their lead 15-9 when the Terps took their first timeout of the set. The Huskies used a 10-3 run to close out the match, winning by a final score of 25-12.
The Terps had a tough time slowing down Washington's offense. The Huskies slammed home 18 kills in the opening set. This has been the theme for most teams who have faced UW this season. The Huskies had only lost one set all season coming into today's match. That set loss came against the Canadian National Team -- a match in which they went on to win 3-1.
The second set got off to a similar start as the first, with the teams neck and neck early. However, towards the middle of the set, an attack error by Twilley and a kill for the Huskies put the Terps down 15-12. Maryland Head Coach Steve Aird gathered the team during a timeout and his message was heard loud and clear not only by the team, but especially by Twilley. She scored three of Maryland's four straight points coming out of the timeout to put the Terps in front by one.
The match continued to be a back-and-forth competition but Twilley's errors put the Terps behind. With the score 22-18 in favor of the Huskies, three kills from Elliot, kills from Abby Bentz and Hailey Murray, and a Washington attack error brought the Terps back in front 24-23.
Maryland tied the match at 25-25 but Washington won the next two points, winning the second set 27-25. The Terrapins never backed down from the top-10 Huskies but in the end, talent won out in the second set.
The momentum from winning a thrilling second set carried the Huskies through the third as they cruised to a 25-9 victory and swept the Terps 3-0. There was not much the Terps could do from the beginning as the Huskies quickly put them in a 10-3 hole.
Twilley's struggles continued as she committed six attack errors in the third set, piling up a season-high 15 for the match.
Despite the poor result, the Terps did show the ability to play with elite competition. They came from behind twice to take the lead in that back and forth second set but they seemed to run out of gas in the third set. The final score of the second set was a moral victory to be sure but Maryland has to be disappointed in how the match ended.
Maryland will close out their non-conference schedule tomorrow in Norman and it won't be any easier for the Terps as they square off against host Oklahoma and third-ranked Southern Cal.