In the team’s opening tournament at home, Maryland volleyball put together some great sets to start off the season.
The Terps won their first two games against Rhode Island and Navy, respectively, moving to 2-0. However, Maryland couldn’t remain perfect, as it lost to Florida Gulf Coast to bring its record to 2-1 after week one.
Against Rhode Island on Friday, Maryland started the season firing on all cylinders in the first set. After the set was tied at four, the Terps didn’t look back, finishing the set on a 21-7 run.
Freshman outside hitter Laila Ivey started her first set in College Park with confidence, leading the team with seven kills. Graduate middle blocker Rainelle Jones and junior outside hitter Sam Csire both chipped in with five kills each to help win set one, 25-11.
The second set had both teams going back and forth, with Csire and new redshirt junior middle blocker Anastasia Russ putting forth great performances. Russ ended up sealing it for the Terps with three kills in a row toward the end of the set as Maryland won, 25-17.
To finish it off, Maryland dominated the third set, 25-13, to take match one of the Maryland Invite, 3-0. Csire led the team with 15 kills, while the newcomer Ivey chipped in 12 kills in her first-ever collegiate match.
Maryland also took on Navy on Friday and brought over some of the same energy from game one. The first set wasn’t even close with Russ, Ivey and Jones putting up kills as they went on to cruise to a 25-14 triumph.
Just like in the first match, the second set was contested at moments against Navy, with the Midshipmen getting within four points of Maryland toward the end. But a clutch kill by Csire followed by a service error from Navy granted Maryland the 25-20 win.
The last set was complete and utter domination from the home team, who would take a massive 25-12 win for the clean sweep on day one of the tournament. The team recorded 14 blocks while also winning the hitting percentage battle, 0.362 to 0.043. Csire led the team in kills again with nine.
Coming into Saturday undefeated through six sets, Maryland faced a much different challenge in Florida Gulf Coast, a team that posted a 27-6 record in 2021. And in the first set, things looked that way after the Terps went down 7-1 early. Despite battling back, FGCU wouldn’t relent and had a run of eight straight points to help them take the set 25-16.
The second set featured many runs by both sides, but it all came down to the final few points as the Terps came back to make the score 24-23. But, a kill from senior outside hitter Erin Shomaker sealed a 25-23 set win for the Eagles.
Despite being down 2-0, Maryland did not give up and dominated the third set, 25-14. Ivey and Csire combined for 9 kills to give their squad a lifeline going into the fourth set. That lifeline wasn’t enough, though, as FGCU dominated in the fourth set behind seven kills from Shomaker. The Eagles secured the 3-1 victory and silenced the crowd at the Maryland Invite.
Looking to bounce back from Saturday’s loss, the team will travel to Stony Brook this weekend to take on Georgetown, Stony Brook and South Florida in the Stony Brook Tournament.