After dropping its Big Ten home opener Friday to No. 19 Purdue, Maryland volleyball responded with a sweep of Michigan on Sunday. The victory marked the Terps’ first-ever home victory against the Wolverines.
Maryland (11-3) will now face its first Big Ten road test when it takes on Rutgers.
Wednesday’s match is set for 6 p.m. and will be televised on Big Ten Network.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights (8-4, 0-2 Big Ten)
2022 record: 8-24 (2-18 Big Ten)
Fourth-year head coach Caitlin Schweihofer has seen a fair share of highs and lows during her tenure. In her first year, Rutgers notched its inaugural Big Ten victory in its home opener and secured multiple top-10 victories. But last year, the Scarlet Knights won just two Big Ten games, the worst mark in the conference.
They dropped their first two conference games this year against No. 15 Penn State and No. 19 Purdue.
Player to watch
Kristina Grkovic, senior middle blocker, No. 16 — The Belgrade, Serbia native ranks top-10 in the conference in both aces and aces per set. Just as efficient on the front line, her 96 kills are second on the team.
Service play. Rutgers ranks third in the Big Ten in service aces allowed per set and sixth in aces for per set. Grkovic, sophomore outside hitter Alissa Kinkela and senior defensive specialist Madyson Chitty each have at least 10 aces.
Conference play. Although just a small sample size this season, Rutgers has historically been bad against conference opponents. The Scarlet Knights have managed more than five Big Ten victories just once since joining the conference in 2014.
They’re 14-21 all-time against Maryland, and 2-6 in the past eight matchups.
Three things to watch
1. Anastasia Russ continues to be Maryland’s best player. Russ boasts an exceptional .500 hitting percentage, which ranks second-best in the country. She has 88 kills on 154 attempts.
During her time at Maryland, the Pittsburgh native has a hitting percentage of .367, the highest mark in program history.
2. Sydney Dowler has been dominant. Dowler ranks third in the conference in assists per set (9.96), and is on pace to become the sixth Terp in program history to record 3,000 career assists, as she currently sits at 2,779.
3. The offense is clicking. The Terps boast a .277 hitting percentage through their first nine matches, the 18th-best clip in the nation.