This weekend, Maryland volleyball matched up against a top five team in the country and pulled off a shocking upset with just a few games left in the season.
The Terps went 1-1 over the weekend, with both matches played in College Park. Their first game on Friday came against No. 5 Ohio State, and Maryland shocked the country, winning 3-1 for the team’s second win over a ranked team this season. On Saturday, head coach Adam Hughes’ squad couldn’t get ahead of Michigan, losing 3-1 on senior day.
Heading into the final stretch of the season, the Terps are currently 15-15 and have a 6-12 record in Big Ten games.
Match one: No. 5 Ohio State
The Buckeyes started the match with an early lead in the first set that they never relinquished. Even though Maryland attempted a run before the end of the set, Ohio State ended the first on a 5-0 run to take the set, 25-16. It was pure dominance from the Buckeyes, who outkilled the Terps in the set, 18-8, and had a .333 hitting percentage.
To start the second set, the Terps started to string together points, maintaining an advantage early. Then, all of the sudden, Maryland ripped the set open with an 8-0 run featuring a few kills from redshirt junior middle blocker Anastasia Russ to put the home team up, 23-14. This put the set out of reach as a kill from senior right side Laila Ricks finished things off, winning the set, 25-15. Junior outside hitter Sam Csire came up huge for the Terps with six kills to help even the game up at one.
Maryland started the third set with a decent advantage and held onto it for most of the set before a 4-0 run from the Buckeyes put Maryland up just two at 19-17. From that point, it was all Maryland as it finished the third on a 4-0 run of its own to take the set, 25-18. Csire dominated for her squad yet again, coming up with seven kills in the third, despite the team hitting .196.
The momentum from the game carried over into the fourth set as Maryland came out with a 7-1 run to start. Ohio State couldn’t find a way back as Maryland won the fourth, 25-18, and pulled off the shocking upset over the No. 5 team in the country. Csire led the way for the terms with a season-high 22 kills and seven digs to help lead her team to the win.
Match two: Michigan
The first frame of the game was close early, with Russ and Csire getting a few kills to keep things close. However, the Terps secured a seven-point lead midway through the set via a 6-0 run. Despite the lead, the Wolverines roared back behind four kills from junior outside hitter Jess Mruzik, which forced the set into extras. While Michigan got the first point, Maryland followed with three straight, all of which were on kills, to win the first set, 28-26.
After going down a set, Michigan immediately responded to start the second with a 6-0 run to start. Maryland tried to get back for most of the set, and worked itself all the way back to tie the game at 17. However, Michigan clapped back with a 4-0 run that the Terps didn’t come back from, eventually losing the set by three and tying the game at a set apiece. May Pertofsky had four kills in the set as Michigan evened things up.
A service ace from junior setter Sydney Dowler was part of a 4-0 run that helped the Terps go up 9-5 early in the third. More runs and a few kills from Ricks helped Maryland go up 20-17, but yet again Michigan came back to eventually tie the game at 23. From that moment on, the Wolverines took command of the game, taking two straight points and winning the third set, 25-23.
The fourth set started with back-and-forth play, with Maryland eventually taking a 7-5 lead on a kill from Csire. But Michigan left the Terps in the dust following that kill, with a 10-0 run eventually winning the set, 25-11. Maryland had a hitting percentage of -0.054 in the set, compared to Michigan’s 0.258. Mruzik had a dominant game, with 18 kills, 10 digs and three blocks. Csire’s 15 kills and Russ’ 13 kills weren’t enough to give Maryland its second win in a row.
Maryland’s final two games of the season are both during the week. First, the Terps play their final game at the XFINITY Center Pavilion this season against No. 12 Purdue on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Maryland’s last game of the season comes on the road in Bloomington, Indiana, on Friday at 5 p.m.