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Maryland volleyball weekend preview: Indiana and No. 16 Purdue

The Terps hit the road for the final time this season.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

Now 16-12 (6-10 Big Ten), Maryland volleyball will travel to take on Indiana on Friday and No. 16 Purdue on Saturday in its final road series of the season.

Friday’s game will start at 6 p.m. and Saturday’s game will start at 7 p.m. Both will be streamed on Big Ten Plus.

Indiana Hoosiers (18-11, 8-8)

What happened last time

On Oct. 7, Indiana firmly beat Maryland in straight sets. The Terps routinely fell behind early in all three sets.

Sam Csire and Samantha Schnitta, who have been the catalysts of Maryland’s offense, combined for just four kills Anastasia Russ was one of the lone bright spots with 11 kills.

Maryland displayed a solid defensive effort, outnumbering the Hoosiers in both digs and blocks. Despite the defensive effort, Indiana’s Savannah Kjolhede, Candela Alonso-Corcelles and Kaley Rammelsburg all had double-digit kills.

What’s happened since

Since then, the Hoosiers have struggled to make their way up the Big Ten standings with a 5-5 record. Indiana is looking to end its season with a winning record in conference play with Maryland, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Michigan remaining.

A statistical monster, Indiana is first in the Big Ten in points (1879), kills (1424), assists (1291) and service aces (188), while ranking second in digs (1439) and total blocks (267).

Camryn Haworth leads the conference in assists (1077) and service aces (64), and Rammelsburg and Kjolhede rank in the top 10 in hitting percentage.

No. 16 Purdue Boilermakers (17-8, 11-5)

What happened last time

In its first real test of the season, Maryland opened its conference schedule at home with a 3-1 loss against then-No. 19 Purdue on Sept. 22. Schnitta, Csire and Laila Ivey all had double-digit kills, with Schnitta leading the way with 16.

Despite the offensive effort, Purdue did not allow a single Maryland ace and saw four players record more than one block. Raven Colvin led the Boilermakers with 5.5 total blocks.

Going on several runs, Purdue began the fourth with an 8-0 run to ultimately secure the win.

“We couldn’t get in system, they made a few plays and we tried one more time at [8-0] to see if we could stall them,” head coach Adam Hughes said after the match. “For the most part, we did but then it was too little too late.”

What’s happened since

Since its Big Ten opener, Purdue has a 10-5 record, including two wins over No. 14 Penn State.

The Boilermakers rank top three in the conference in points (1695), hitting percentage (.246), assists (1231), kills (1337) and digs (1441). They also rank fourth in blocks (257). Their defense has been lackluster, though, allowing the second most kills (1342) of any Big Ten team.

Eva Hudson and freshman phenom Chloe Chicoine continue to lead the offense and rank top five in the conference in kills.

Three things to watch

1. Sweeps. In Maryland’s last six matches, none of its contests have gone longer than three sets. The Terps are 2-4 in that span.

2. Revenge games. Maryland lost to both Indiana and Purdue the last time it played, but will have a chance to return the favor on the road this weekend.

3. Erin Morrissey. The junior had a stellar performance against the Buckeyes with a career-high 12 kills. Following an unexpected performance, Morrissey may have earned more playing time.