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Maryland volleyball falls to Michigan in straight sets to cap off winless weekend

The Terps lost all six sets on the weekend.

Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Maryland volleyball’s Michigan road trip went as poorly as possible.

Looking to bounce back after a sweep against Michigan State, the Terps instead faltered again, leaving Ann Arbor Sunday with a straight-sets defeat to Michigan (22-25, 20-25, 14-25).

This weekend marked Maryland’s first time getting swept in consecutive matches this season.

After scoring 20-plus points in each of the first two sets, the Terps were stale in the third set. The Terps slashed a .243 hitting percentage in the opening set, but were limited to a .000 percentage in the second and a -.026 percentage in the deciding set.

“We went to the bench a little to see if we could try and get a little bit of a spark,” head coach Adam Hughes said. “We started with, I think, three or four errors on the first five points, and realistically, you need to start on time and get a few plays under your belt.”

Outside of freshman middle blocker Eva Rohrbach’s .714 percentage — compromised of five kills on seven attacks — the Terps did not have a player with a hitting percentage of more than .150.

As well, Maryland once again let errors get the best of it. The Terps committed 24 attack errors compared to just 14 by the Wolverines. More importantly, three of their errors came in the latter parts of the first and second sets, proving extremely costly in the end.

“In game one, I actually thought we were playing some pretty good ball,” Hughes said. “I thought we battled and made it interesting late … we just got a little pressure put on us.”

Michigan ripped off an early run in the first set, taking advantage of three attack errors from the Terps. Shortly after, Wolverines freshman outside hitter Valentina Vaulet ripped off back-to-back service aces to give Michigan a 15-12 lead. She finished the first set with four kills and two of the Wolverines’ four service aces.

With the Terps looking to fight back, Sam Csire and Samantha Schnitta each recorded consecutive kills. Freshman outside hitter Sydney Bryant then tied the set at 20 with a kill of her own. However, the Wolverines closed the set out on a 5-0 run with three kills from Vaulet.

Maryland and Michigan exchanged points to start the second set as the two drew to a 4-4 stalemate. Looking to go ahead, the Terps embarked on a 6-0 run, their longest of the day, to take a 10-4 lead after a solo block from Bryant and the first ace of the day for junior setter Erin Engel.

Maryland got out to a 15-7 advantage in the second set, but the attack stalled at that. Michigan took advantage of attacking errors from the Terps and went on an 8-0 run to even the set at 15.

Jacque Boney had the Terps’ number all set, recording six kills to continue Michigan’s momentum.

As it did in the first set, Michigan closed out the second frame on a late run to take a commanding two-set lead.

Looking for its second consecutive sweep after downing Iowa in straight sets Saturday night, Michigan jumped out to a 9-5 lead.

Maryland’s offense struggled to find any consistency after scoring over 20 points in each of the first two sets, and dropped the decider, 25-14.

Three Things to Know

1. New lows. Maryland was swept by Michigan State and Michigan this weekend, the first time is been been swept in back-to-back matches this season.

2. Anasatisa Russ was absent. Anasatisa Russ, one of Maryland’s top attackers, was limited to just three kills on 12 attempts.

3. Looking ahead. Maryland’s upcoming schedule is daunting, with matchups against No. 2 Wisconsin and Ohio State on tap for next weekend.