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Maryland volleyball loses to Ohio State in straight sets to start Big Ten play

The Terps couldn’t get things going in their conference opener.

maryland volleyball Gabe Fernandez/Testudo Times

Maryland Volleyball lost to Ohio State Wednesday in three sets in their first game of Big Ten play.

The Terps’ second loss came with an inability to score, with frequent errors benefiting the Buckeyes. Ohio State won with set scores of 25-20, 25-16 and 25-16.

Gia Milana and Erika Pritchard led Maryland’s attack, as usual, but their efforts weren’t enough. Milana recorded 10 kills, and Pritchard five, but both made frequent errors. Pritchard had seven attack errors; as a team, the Terps erred on 19 attacks.

The teams battled back and forth through the start of the first set, with neither pulling ahead by more than two points. Milana recorded three kills early, but she was the only one who scored on the attack until Pritchard recorded the team’s 14th point. An Ohio State kill and block made the game 19-17 in favor of the Buckeyes when Steve Aird called a timeout.

The Terps made attack error, giving Ohio State the biggest lead at three. Maryland quickly battled back to make it a one point match again. Ohio State battled back for another three point lead, prompting another Aird timeout. The Terps managed only one more point, before the Buckeyes took the set by five points. The Buckeyes out-killed the Terps in the first set, 16-7.

The second set followed suit with the first: the Buckeyes led by few points until Maryland ultimately took the lead at 8-7. The two stayed close again, until an attacking error by Samantha Drecshel made the score 15-13, and gave the Buckeyes their first two-point lead since it was 7-5.

The Buckeyes then built up to a 19-14 lead, the largest of the set. Maryland could only record two more points, until they lost on a blocked kill at 25-16.

The Terps began the third set on their best note yet, recording five kills early. But the Buckeyes still carried their momentum from the previous set. They led 10-5 when Aird called a timeout. Ohio State didn’t let up, going on a 5-1 run.

The Buckeyes held on, comfortably leading by around six until they pulled ahead, with Maryland struggling to find a way to score. The third set ended with the same score as the second, 25-16, but with the Terps struggling from much earlier in the set rather than the Buckeyes pulling ahead late.

The Terps’ loss at the hands of the Buckeyes is their second straight and their second all season. Still only one win away from tying their win total last season, Maryland travels to Bloomington to face Indiana Saturday.

Three things to know

  1. Errors proved costly. Maryland struggled because its attack was so weak. The Terps recorded only 28 kills and 19 errors with a clip of just .099. Maryland’s lack of ability to score, though an obvious reason for the loss, was also indicative of the Terps’ inability to take advantage of Ohio State’s early frequent errors.
  2. The Terps got closed down. In both the first and the second sets, Maryland kept the game close up until the mid-teens. Then Ohio State would go on a streak and the Terps had no response. Their lack of kills and inability to capitalize on Ohio State’s few errors at the end of sets gave them little opportunities to come back.
  3. Timely timeouts. Ohio State controlled the tempo of the game and forced Aird to call timeouts early, especially in the third set. This cost the team down the line, when the Buckeyes would ultimately get on another roll, and the Terps couldn’t seem to find another way to disrupt their play.