Maryland volleyball lost in straight sets at home to No. 5 Nebraska Saturday night for its fifth loss in six games.
The loss was just the Terps’ fifth at home, all of which came against teams ranked 10th or higher. Their overall record is now 17-13, with two games remaining on the season, both at home.
Nebraska earned its 17th conference win of the season, and its ninth road win. Only Wisconsin has beaten the Cornhuskers. The Xfinity Center Pavilion was full Saturday, and Nebraska’s fan presence had a lot to do with that, especially since the Maryland men’s basketball team is playing at home later in the evening.
Gia Milana struggled for the Terps, only earning three kills on 15 attempts. Erika Pritchard mounted the attack for Maryland. She had 10 total kills, but also picked up eight errors, including the final point for the Cornhuskers. The Terps finished the match attacking at a clip of .115.
After Maryland errors allowed Nebraska to lead early, the Terps came back to tie it at 13 off of a Hailey Murray ace. Maryland then took its first lead at 15-14. The Cornhuskers quickly came back, but the Terps stayed right on their heels. Nebraska earned set point at 24-20, but Maryland scored three more unanswered, including a Samantha Drechsel ace, before the Cornhuskers took the first set 25-23.
Every time Maryland began to close the gap in the second, they seemed to power the ball out of bounds, giving the momentum back to Nebraska. When Maryland called timeout at 14-11, they already had three service errors. Their scoring woes continued, as Nebraska went on a 6-3 run. Maryland never recovered. A final Milana attack error cost the Terps the set 25-18, and gave them a clip of .036 for the second.
The third set started closer, tied early at 5-5, before Nebraska went on a 8-0 run. Maryland only scored four more points before calling timeout at 18-9. It barely slowed Nebraska, as Maryland only scored four more times before a Pritchard error gave the match to Nebraska, 25-13.
Maryland plays again at home Wednesday, Nov. 22 against Ohio State in the penultimate game of the regular season.
Three things to know
1. Milana struggled on the attack. Milana attacked relentlessly against Iowa, scoring 19 kills on 50 attempts. Saturday, Milana recorded just 15 attacks through three sets, and didn’t get a single kill in the last set. She finished with a clip of -.067 and six service errors.
2. Maryland’s service woes returned. After a great match of service against Iowa, the Terps found their service costing them more points against Nebraska. They had 12 total service errors, and only two aces. Despite this, head coach Steve Aird had said after the Iowa win that he wasn’t worried about potential service errors in Saturday’s game.
3. Maryland’s next matchup. Maryland plays Ohio State next on Nov. 22. The Buckeyes swept the Terps earlier this year in Columbus in their first Big Ten game of the season. Maryland has improved greatly since then, and faced far better teams. Ohio State has fewer wins on the year, but a better conference record. Moreover, their Friday night opponent, Iowa, beat Ohio State in Iowa City Nov. 11, indicating an improved team with home court advantage may make for a must-watch game Wednesday.