Maryland volleyball fell in straight sets for the second time this weekend, this time against No. 2 Nebraska. The 2015 NCAA Champions kept the match out of the Terps’ reach all Sunday afternoon. The Cornhuskers prevented the Terps from ever getting to 20 points in a set, handling Maryland by scores of 16-25, 14-25 and 17-25.
Despite being as tight as a one-point deficit in the first set, Nebraska put away the Terps’ first-set resistance to win 25-16. Nebraska would go on a run of three straight points, going up 16-12, and Maryland’s subsequent timeout did little to stop the 12-3 Cornhusker run.
The second set would go very much according to Nebraska’s plan once again, as the Huskers topped Maryland, 25-14. The Terps were outmatched, but Hailey Murray was a bright spot during the set with four kills and a .800 hitting percentage.
Maryland (8-12, 0-8 Big Ten) grabbed its first lead of the match at 1-0 in the third set, and would hold on intermittently until Nebraska grabbed its first lead at 6-7. The score remained tighter than it had been in the first two sets, but 12 Maryland errors did not help the cause, and the Terps fell 17-25.
Senior Kadie Rolfzen led the Cornhuskers with 9 kills and a .643 hitting percentage, while her sister Amber Rolfzen led with seven total blocks.
Three things to know:
- Nebraska is really good, and plays tidy volleyball. Maryland did not have many errors in the match, but Nebraska was near-perfect. The Cornhuskers only committed two first-set errors to stay far ahead. A similar theme would continue in Maryland’s next two set-losses, with Nebraska only committing one error in the second set and four in the third.
- Gia Milana fell back to earth against Nebraska. After two matches of 21 and 20 kills, respectively, Milana had 11 kills and eight errors against the Cornhuskers. Nebraska proved to be a big jump in class for the freshman to compete with. It’s a lot to ask of a freshman to lead the Terps’ attack against a senior-heavy Nebraska team. Facing Amber Rolfzen and the Cornhusker defense should help in her development..
- The individual set scores are ugly, but Maryland could have been worse. The Terps limited errors in the first and second sets with five in each. The first and third sets were close until the teens. However, improvement will still be needed before Michigan comes to town on Wednesday if Maryland has eyes on an upset.
The Terps have another chance against No. 18 Michigan on Wednesday. Maryland lost 3-1 to the Wolverines a little more than a week ago, but put in a good performance on a tough road trip against Michigan and Michigan State.