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Maryland volleyball weekend preview: Kristen Dickmann Invitational

The Terps remain local in their second tournament of the season.

Maryland volleyball travels to Annapolis this weekend.
Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.

After a weekend that saw Maryland volleyball go 2-1 in the Canes Classic to open the season, the Terps will travel to nearby Annapolis for the Kristen Dickmann Invitational. They will take on Old Dominion at 4 p.m. on Friday, Utah Valley at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday and finish with Navy at 2 p.m on Sunday.

Old Dominion Monarchs (3-0)

Head coach Fred Chao is entering his fourth year as the Monarchs’ head coach after the program’s birth in 2019. Old Dominion went 3-0 last weekend — the best start to a season under Chao — at the Quest for the Crown Tournament where it beat VCU, Norfolk State and William & Mary.

Player to watch

Bryanna Jones, freshman outside hitter, No. 12 — Jones has already made an impact in the season’s first three matches. Despite standing at just 5-foot-9, Jones racked up an impressive 43 kills over the weekend. She should be on the Terps’ radar heading into the weekend.

Utah Valley Wolverines (1-2)

Now in his 25th season leading the Wolverines, head coach Sam Atoa has been at the helm of Utah Valley since 1998. In his quarter-decade with the program, Atoa has posted a 469-273 overall record. The Wolverines have gone three straight seasons boasting a winning record, and will look to do the same this year.

Player to watch

Avery Shewell, sophomore outside hitter, No. 5 — After recording 241 kills last year, Shewell took home WAC Freshman of the Year honors. Looking to build off her strong first year, Shewell recorded 41 kills in 13 sets last week at the Utah Valley Invitational, which ranked first on the team.

Navy Midshipmen (2-1)

Now in his sixth season with the Midshipmen, head coach Paco Labrador has amassed an impressive 528-119 record in his 20 seasons as a head coach. His .816 career winning percentage ranks him 16th among active coaches across the NCAA. Navy and Maryland met last year with the Terps sweeping, but with such strong coaching, the Midshipmen could give Maryland trouble.

Player to watch

Maggie Bodman, senior middle blocker, No. 16 — Bodman, the Midshipmen’s three-time blocks leader, returns for what could be her final year with the program. Bodman was selected to the All-Patriot League first team last season after she posted over 100 total blocks.

Three things to watch

1. Maryland’s offense is hot early. Through its first three matches of the season, Maryland ranks first in the Big Ten with 194 points and second with 148 kills. Sam Csire leads the team with 29 kills and has been its offensive catalyst. If Maryland can continue this offensive production, it shouldn’t have an issue coming out of the weekend with a winning record.

2. Samantha Schnitta is fitting in well. Schnitta, a senior transfer from Ole Miss, ranks second on the team in kills (26) and kills per set (2.89). She has surpassed all expectations set upon her so far and should be a mainstay in the starting lineup.

3. Tougher competition ahead. After going 2-1 last weekend, Maryland may find more difficulty in its upcoming non-conference slate as Old Dominion, Utah Valley and Navy are all capable of defeating the Terps. But with Big Ten play on the horizon, Maryland needs win most of these early-season games.