In its second tournament of the season, Maryland volleyball continued to show promise but came up short in the final game of the weekend once again.
Both Georgetown and Stony Brook didn’t have a chance in the Terps’ first two games, as Maryland dominated from the start, bringing its record to 4-1. But a close finish against South Florida ended in a loss, as the team has now gone 2-1 in consecutive tournaments to start the season 4-2.
On Friday, game one against Georgetown started with a dominant set from Maryland. After building a seven-point lead early, Maryland never looked back as freshman outside hitter Laila Ivey kept her impressive form going with four kills and two blocks to lead the Terps to a 25-15 first-set win.
Set two was close early, with the Hoyas trying not to lose their grip on the game. However, a 6-0 run managed to create separation for Maryland. Junior right side Laila Ricks stepped up with two service aces and five kills, while Ivey had three kills to give Maryland the second-set win, 25-14.
The final set of the match was much of the same, as Maryland won yet again with a 25-14 performance. A four-kill set for Ivey highlighted another good performance in her young career, as she finished with a team-high 11 kills. But, Ricks led the way in points with 10 kills and a career-high four service aces to beat Georgetown 3-0.
Later on Friday, Maryland took on the hosts of the tournament in Stony Brook and played a much tighter game despite winning in three sets.
It was a battle right off the bat, with both teams exchanging blows for the majority of the first set. After the Terps went down 16-14, they rallied to go on a 9-1 run in which graduate middle blocker Rainelle Jones had three kills. These heroics would be enough to seal the set, as the Terps took it, 25-19.
The second set was also extremely competitive, as the score was eventually tied at 19 apiece. Although, yet again, Maryland showed more determination at the end, going on a 6-1 run to snatch the set, 25-20. Ricks and Ivey both had four kills in the period.
In the final set, the Terps went on a 8-0 run early in the set to put the game out of reach. Ricks had her second impressive stat line of the day, posting six kills on a .385 hitting percentage as well as another service ace and a team-high nine block assists. They would win the set 25-16, and beat the Seawolves, 3-0.
On Saturday, Maryland looked shaky after narrowly dropping the first set to South Florida, 25-22. But, the team got fired up heading into set two and three, finishing the second set on a 9-0 run and eventually winning 25-12. In the third set, they dominated in the middle and went up by a score of 18-10 before eventually taking the 25-20 victory.
The rest of the game saw the momentum completely shift towards the Bulls. With a chance to take the game in the fourth set, the Terps looked as if they had lost their shells, losing 25-15 to bring the game to a tie-breaking fifth set. The Bulls kept pouring it on in the fifth, as Maryland collapsed, only putting up four points. South Florida won the hitting percentage battle .202 to .136, and the match 3-2.
Despite a disappointing Saturday, Ricks and junior setter Sydney Dowler received recognition on the Stony Brook Invitational All-Tournament Team. Ricks finished the tournament with a monster eight service aces in 11 sets, and Dowler posted 82 assists and 18 digs through 11 sets.
With hopes of brushing off the team’s recent upset loss, the Terps will take a trip out west for the San Diego State Tournament where they face San Diego State, Sacramento State and Arizona this weekend.