With UMBC down 0-2 in the match, it was desperate to protect its undefeated tournament record against Maryland volleyball. After committing six errors, the Terps found themselves in a four-point hole, early in the third set.
The Terps did not continue their fall into a relaxed mindset, though, as they cleaned up their act and erupted for a 15-2 run to all but officially win the set.
This newfound play came out of a strategic Adam Hughes timeout that was immediately followed by two kills from the dynamic offensive duo of Paula Neciporuka and Sam Csire. The outside hitters yet again proved to be the backbone of this Maryland squad, leading the team in kills with 184 combined.
Maryland was able to build on those two crucial kills and it eventually came away with a three-set win (25-17, 25-13, 25-13) to improve to an impressive 9-0. With a win over UMBC, the Terps will come back to College Park for the final tournament of the season.
The Terps were as good as it gets in their Friday double-header, winning all six sets and with an average win margin of 9.3 points. Maryland picked up right where they left off in the first set as outside hitter Sam Csire was able to strike first for Maryland after a long rally.
Maryland faced some unusual pushback from UMBC, as the Terps have had their way all weekend. The Retrievers were able to tie the set at five apiece, putting pressure on the Terps defense with three kills.
Middle blocker Laila Ricks and Csire were able to energize the Terps with back-to-back kills to start a 5-1 run. This run included a service ace by defensive specialist Lexi Finnerty, who continues to make the most out of her player time, and a masterful kill by setter Sydney Dowler.
UMBC was able to come out of their timeout with a hard-hitting kill, but this momentum didn’t last long as Csire did what she does best, and sent the ball rocketing towards the Retrievers to spark another massive run for Maryland.
This 8-2 run was highlighted by a pair of thunderous kills from Ricks and Csire to give the Terps an 18-9 advantage. Despite this nine-point deficit, the Retrievers were able to counter with a 4-1 run that featured three kills.
Maryland was able to trade points with UMBC until reaching the finish line, winning the first set 25-17, the third eight-point win of the tournament.
Maryland started the second set off strong on the offensive end, with their first three points being kills. After three attacking errors by the Retrievers, Maryland found themselves up 6-2 early.
UMBC refused to let the Terps run away with this one, however, immediately responding with a 5-0 run to take the lead. The Retrievers overwhelmed the Terps with a plethora of kills, three of them coming from junior outside hitter Emily Ferketic.
The Terps didn’t let UMBC hold the lead for long, as Ricks quickly responded with a kill of her own, followed by four consecutive Maryland points. A 3-0 run by the Retrievers pulled them with one before Maryland rattled off one of their signature mid-set runs to put them nine. Outside hitter Paula Neciporuka was the main culprit of the run, serving up three kills.
Up 20-12, Csire, Dowler, and middle blockers Rainelle Jones and Hannah Thompson were able to secure the double-digit set win, combining for the last five points, all of them being kills.
The Terps started the third set sloppy, committing six errors to give the Retrievers an 8-4 lead.
After an Adam Hughes timeout, Neciporuka and Csire were able to find the soft spots in the defense and help the Terps tie the game at eight. After a singular point by the Retrievers, Maryland exploded for another mid-set run, forcing UMBC into multiple errors.
Then up by nine, the Terps were able to complete the set with ease, winning 25-13 to close out the match.
Three things to know
1. Hannah Thompson stepped up for the Terps. With middle blocker Cara Lewis out of the lineup, Thompson got her first start as a Terp and didn’t disappoint. Thompson finished the match with six kills and eight blocks, which included a three kill and 1.000 hitting percentage first set.
2. Maryland hasn’t lost a single set since Sept. 3. The Terps have been on quite the run as of late with yet another shutout victory over an opponent with its victory over UMBC. The last time Maryland lost a set was eight days ago against Temple when it won 3-2. Since then, the Terps have had shutout wins over Iona, Howard, Quinnipiac and now UMBC.
3. Maryland has one more nonconference tournament to go. Maryland is now 9-0 in nonconference play and will host one more tournament at College Park before facing off against the Big Ten. The Terps will play their toughest opponent yet, taking on a 6-2 Akron team on Friday night.