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Maryland volleyball loses to No. 8 Wisconsin in 4 sets

The Terps picked up a set, but couldn’t come away with more.

maryland volleyball Gabe Fernandez/Testudo Times

Maryland volleyball lost in Wisconsin Saturday night in four sets to end its treacherous road weekend. The Terps won the second set, but fell with scores of 25-13,

The No. 8 Badgers handed the Terps their ninth conference loss and their tenth on the season. Wisconsin improved to 16-7, with all of its losses coming in Big Ten games.

The Terps played against Wisconsin at home five games earlier. They lost in straight sets, and their attack struggled mightily. They finished the game with a clip of .069.

Though the Terps had lost the previous night, they had kept it close against the Golden Gophers, losing sets by two twice and four once. They had attacked consistently and kept attack errors low.

Erika Pritchard led Maryland with 12 kills, but also had nine attack errors. The Terps as a team had 40 kills and 24 errors. Wisconsin had 54 and 15. Maryland was once again without libero Kelsey Wicinski; in her place, Samantha Burgio posted a team-high 17 digs.

The teams traded points early in the first, with the first two-point lead coming off of a Wisconsin ace, making it 10-8. Later, two errors from Milana and a Wisconsin kill made it 14-10, prompting a Maryland timeout. A 5-2 Wisconsin run caused another Maryland timeout. Neither stoppage helped, as Wisconsin quickly finished out the set, scoring repeatedly with little Maryland response. The first frame went to the Badgers at a score of 25-13. It had ended on a 14-3 run.

But Maryland turned it around in the second set. After the score was tied at six early, Maryland earned five unanswered points to lead 11-6. The Terps held on to their roughly five-point lead throughout the second set. They killed at a consistent rate. After a late Pritchard kill, Maryland led 23-18. Wisconsin was able to score three more, but the Terps eventually took the second set, 25-21, on a Badgers error.

Wisconsin jumped out to an early 5-1 lead to begin the third set, after three early Terp errors. Maryland later trailed 8-6, and let the Badgers go on a 7-0 run before the Terps scored on a Wisconsin attack error. The third set played out a lot more like the first, with the Terps struggling to score, and committing more errors while Wisconsin continued to pile on the attack. The Badgers took the third set 25-14, with Maryland’s last two points coming off of Wisconsin errors.

Maryland led early in the fourth set, at one point by as many as three points. But with the Terps leading 8-7, Wisconsin stormed in front with a 9-0 run, taking a 16-8 lead. The Badgers cruised from there, taking the final set 25-13 to clinch the match.

The Terps’ toughest stretch of the season continues next week with road matches against No. 7 Nebraska and No. 1 Penn State.