With the score in the second set sitting at 20-19 in favor of Maryland volleyball, it was anybody’s game as Ohio State held a 1-0 match lead. The Buckeyes refused to let the second set slip away from them and took advantage of the opportunity as outside hitter Jenaisya Moore connected on an empathic kill to tie the set at 20.
This kill sparked a 4-0 Ohio State run, giving them a three-point lead. The Buckeyes were able to finish the job, gaining a 2-0 match lead.
Maryland could not muster up a comeback, falling to Ohio State in three sets (25-19, 25-23, 25-18). The Terps are now 19-12 with one more game to go, while the Buckeyes finish the season at 25-5.
Under head coach Adam Hughes, the Terps are 2-4 against Ohio State as they have not won since 2018. Maryland’s final match of the season comes against Minnesota at 7 p.m. on Saturday night.
Maryland got on the board first after an Ohio State attacking error, but it was the Buckeyes who obtained the early 4-1 lead.
After committing an attacking error, middle blocker Hannah Thompson earned the Terps their second point of the set with a kill. Ohio State outside hitter Gabby Gonzales followed Thompson’s kill up with two of her own, giving the Buckeyes a four-point lead.
Gonzales continued to maintain the lead for the Buckeyes, tallying five of Ohio State’s 15 points.
Then down 19-14, the Terps needed to get rolling if they wanted to avoid a loss in the opening set of the match. Outside hitter Sam Csire delivered with her second kill of the set, but it was immediately followed by another kill from Gonzales.
After Gonzales tacked on two more kills, setter Sydney Dowler and Rainelle Jones combined for a massive block. Jones delivered one more kill before Ohio State closed out the set, winning 25-19.
Ohio State was unstoppable in the first set with 19 kills and a .382 hitting percentage.
Neither team took a lead to start the second set with the score tied at three. Middle blocker Laila Ricks converted on her first kill of the set, but it was accompanied by a 3-0 run by the Buckeyes.
The two teams then traded 3-0 runs, giving Ohio State a 9-7 lead. After a single block by the Terps, the Buckeyes piled on to their lead with back-to-back kills. Maryland was able to recover, ripping off a 4-1 run to tie the set at 12.
Gonzales retrieved the lead for the Buckeyes with her 10th kill of the match. It wasn’t long before a 3-0 Maryland repossessed the lead for the Terps.
Down 19-18, middle blocker Arica Davis was able to cap off a long rally with a kill to tie the set for Ohio State. The Buckeyes quickly found themselves down one again, but pieced together two powerful kills, forcing a Maryland timeout.
Ohio State picked up right where it left off out of the time out with two consecutive points to force Hughes to call his second timeout. The Terps came out of the timeout sharp, going on a 3-1 run. But, Ohio State forcefully closed the door with a kill, avoiding extra points and winning 25-23 in the second set to take a commanding 2-0 match lead.
The third set started off extremely even with the score tied at eight as neither team was able to string together more than two points in a row.
Ohio State was the first to double-digits as outside hitter Emily Londot got her 11th kill of the match. Just when it looked like Ohio State was going to break away, Jones and Csire responded with a kill then service ace to tie the set back up. After continuing to exchange blows, Ohio State finally erupted for a 7-0 run to pull out in front.
Middle blocker Cara Lewis finally halted the run with a monstrous kill that the Terps desperately needed.
Maryland was able to add on two more points before the Buckeyes officially completed the sweep with a 25-18 third set victory.
Three things to know
1. The Terps could not handle Ohio State’s offense. Everything came easy to this Ohio State offense, in spite of Maryland being an exceptional defensive team. The Buckeyes came into tonight as arguably the best offensive team in the nation and they proved why, recording 53 kills, 44 assists, and a .355 hitting percentage.
2. Jones shines despite tough loss. Jones was one of the lone bright spots for the Terps who struggled to find their rhythm all night. The senior middle blocker finished the night with six kills, seven blocks, and an impressive .455 hitting percentage.
3. Maryland was unable to capitalize on Ohio State’s sloppy play. The Buckeyes committed six more errors than the Terps did, but were still able to come away with the win. When a team as good as Ohio State makes as many mistakes as it did, you need to make it pay. Maryland was unable to do so tonight, resulting in its second loss in a row.