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Maryland volleyball falls to Iowa in four sets

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The Terps won the first set but got swept the rest of the way.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

With the set tied at 24 and the match even at 1-1, it was anybody’s game. Iowa middle blocker Amiya Jones then stepped up in a major way for the Hawkeyes, sending back-to-back emphatic kills at the Terps.

Star outside hitter Courtney Buzzerio finished things off for Iowa with an impressive service ace, giving the Hawkeyes a 2-1 match lead.

Maryland wasn’t able to recover the rest of the way, dropping its matchup to Iowa in four sets (26-24, 19-25, 25-27, 22-25). The Terps now fall to 18-10, while the Hawkeyes improve to 5-21.

The Terps are 4-1 against Iowa under head coach Adam Hughes, holding a 7-6 record all-time against the Hawkeyes. Maryland has six days of rest before taking on Northwestern for the second time this year.

Iowa got on the board first off of a Maryland error, but the Terps clapped back with two kills from outside hitters Paula Neciporuka and Sam Csire. Buzzerio got involved early, delivering a powerful kill to tie the set at three.

After trading blows, Iowa was the first to reach double-digits, leading 10-8. The two teams exchanged three consecutive points before a block from Neciporuka and middle blocker Hannah Thompson tied the set at 12.

This short 2-0 run quickly snowballed into a 5-1 run by the Terps as they capitalized on multiple Iowa errors.

Iowa refused to let Maryland pull away, responding with a 3-0 run to retake the lead. Setter Sydney Dowler briefly interrupted this run with a kill that was followed by a 4-0 run by the Hawkeyes.

Thompson and Csire finally stopped the bleeding with two kills as Iowa leads 20-18. Back-to-back errors by the Hawkeyes assisted Maryland in tying the set at 21 on the heels of a 3-0 run.

Coming out of an Iowa timeout, middle blocker Hannah Clayton caught fire, connecting on a kill and solo block to help the Hawkeyes go up 23-21. Neciporuka didn’t let this set slip away from the Terps, tying the set at 23 with her second kill.

With the score tied at 24, the Terps wasted no time as middle blocker Rainelle Jones got the first point, which was followed by a set-winning block from Thompson and Neciporuka.

The Terps were sharp on offense in the first set, recording 16 kills on a .278 hitting percentage.

Buzzerio came out firing in the second with two powerful kills. Neciporuka countered Buzzerio’s early production with two kills of her own, tying the set at four.

Then, Buzzerio expanded the lead to three, the largest of the set, with her seventh kill of the match. The game swiftly became a stalemate as the Hawkeyes would not budge from their three-point lead.

Up 18-15, the Hawkeyes ripped off a 3-0 run to take a six-point advantage, highlighted by two kills from freshman outside hitter Addie VanderWeide. Maryland immediately answered with a 4-1 run, forcing an Iowa timeout.

The timeout paid dividends as the Hawkeyes instantly exploded for a 3-0 run, earning a standing ovation from the home crowd.

The third set started out with back-to-back attacking errors from each team.

After a kill from Iowa outside hitter Edina Schmidt, the Terps got rolling, piecing together a 3-0 run. This run was virtually erased as Buzzerio collected two more kills to tie the set at four.

Maryland then erupted for a 5-1 run, led by Neciporuka and her two kills. After two points from Iowa cut the lead two, Neciporuka’s 10th kill of the match sparked a 3-0 run, giving the Terps a five-point lead.

Down 14-9, the Hawkeyes rattled off a 4-1 run to bring Maryland’s lead back to two. The two teams then traded 3-0 runs as the Terps held a 20-18 lead.

After Jones converted on her sixth kill of the night, Buzzerio came up clutch for the Hawkeyes with a kill and block to tie the set at 24. Now down 25-24, Amiya Jones regained the lead with two kills before a Buzzerio service ace gave Iowa the 27-25 win in the third set.

Middle blocker Laila Ricks got things started for the Terps, poking the ball just over Iowa’s middle blockers for the first point of the set.

With the score tied at two, the Hawkeyes built on a Maryland error, putting together a 3-0 run. Similar to the second set, Iowa took a three-point advantage and didn’t let the Terps dig into their lead.

Maryland finally gained some momentum, as Thompson blocked two Iowa attacks to tie the set at 18. Then up 22-21, Clayton helped the Hawkeyes secure the four-set win with a set-winning kill, ending the Terps comeback hopes.

Three things to know

1. Maryland was much better offensively. The Terps have been pitiful on the offensive end over the last three games but were much better tonight despite the loss. Maryland recorded 55 kills, 51 assists, and a .227 hitting percentage en route to its disappointing four-set loss.

2. Buzzerio dominates the Terps. Buzzerio came into this match second in the Big Ten in kills per set and did not disappoint. She had a career night against a fantastic blocking team in the Terps, finishing the night with 23 kills, three blocks, and a .214 hitting percentage.

3. The Terps have yet to win a match in November. Up until this point in the season, the most consecutive games Maryland had lost were four when it dropped matchups against Minnesota, Penn State, Ohio State and Northwestern at the end of September into the beginning of October. This evening, the Terps have now matched that streak as they have now fallen to Purdue, Michigan, Nebraska and Iowa to start off their November slate of games.