Freshman have powered Maryland volleyball all year, and they shined once again as the Terps topped Indiana in their last game of the season. The straight-sets win came by set scores of 25-16, 25-20 and 25-21.
Maryland recognized three seniors on Friday: Ashlyn MacGregor, Carlotta Oggioni, and Whitney Craigo. Of the three, MacGregor is the most recognizable on the court. The middle blocker led the Terps in blocks and hitting percentage, and is only the third Maryland player to reach 500 career blocks.
Oggioni played two sets entering Friday, and did not play on Friday. Craigo’s senior season was cut short due to an upper body injury, otherwise the Ohio native would have seen more floor time. It pushed freshman Taylor Smith into the lineup as the lone setter.
Maryland (12-20, 4-16) missed out on a chance to tie last season’s Big Ten win total of five, but the send-off victory only added to the anticipation for next season’s incoming recruits on a senior night with eyes looking toward the future.
Angel Gaskin led the Terps on Friday with 12 kills, and Gia Milana had 10. Liz Twilley was without an error as she hit seven kills.
The Terps needed some time to settle down its attack, but after trailing 6-3, Maryland stormed back to win the first set 25-16. After two Gaskin kills to take the lead at 9-8, Maryland only stretched the lead further. The Terps dominated the net in set one, with MacGregor leading with three blocks. Indiana ranks second in the Big Ten with 1.55 aces per set, but the Hoosiers could not find early accuracy from deep, hitting four service errors in set one.
Maryland and Indiana played it close until a 6-1 Maryland run made things more comfortable. Indiana narrowed the set to 21-17 after Milana mishit two digs in a row. Maryland held on to win the set 25-20. Indiana too often set up Maryland’s middles with easy kills, as the Hoosiers’ digs flew over the net with no attack.
The Terps finished the job in the third set with a 25-21 win. Maryland hit two aces in the set, and despite hitting its worst percentage of the night, it was still .208. Indiana stayed within reaching distance the entire set, narrowing the lead to 21-20. Maryland struggled with finishing sets all season long, but on senior night, the Terps closed the door in all three sets.
Three things to know:
- With MacGregor in the lead, Maryland blocked really well. It was a staple of MacGregor’s career. She was one of three Terps to reach 500 career blocks, and ranks tenth with 51 solo blocks. MacGregor also added six kills. Hailey Murray and MacGregor led with four total blocks.
- Maryland played clean and efficient volleyball. The Terps limited errors and hit .444 in set one and .351 in set two. Through two sets, three Maryland attackers hit over .500. Maryland cooled off a bit in the third set, but still held onto the straight-sets victory, hitting .208. Gaskin led the Terps in kills, with 12, and hit .423 doing so. MacGregor led the Terps with a .455 hitting percentage.
- There was a different kind of hustle, and it had everything to do with senior night. Whether it was Nell Drummey sending the bench scattering as she saved a ball or three players diving for a pancake dig, the Terps ended the season right. They won’t be headed to the NCAA Tournament, but there’s a lot to look forward to in College Park.