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Maryland volleyball sweeps Indiana for first Big Ten win

After facing little resistance in the first two sets, the Terps battled back in the final set to take the match.

maryland volleyball Gabe Fernandez/Testudo Times

Maryland volleyball got its first win in Big Ten play Saturday, knocking off Indiana in straight sets. The Terps won with set scores of 25-17, 25-19 and 26-24.

It was the first win for the Terps at Indiana since joining the Big Ten, and at 1-1 Maryland is also at .500 in the Big Ten for the first time. In the past three years, the Terps had lost at least eight straight Big Ten matches before getting their first win.

Gia Milana led Maryland with 12 kills and had a good day serving, finishing with three service aces. Hailey Murray had another excellent game, adding nine kills on a whopping .667 hitting percentage. Freshman Erika Pritchard had a solid night as well after a few rough performances, finishing with seven kills and a team-high four service aces.

Kendall Beerman paced the Hoosiers with 12 kills, and Elizabeth Asdell and Hayden Hubers had six and five, respectively. The trio combined to hit .340, while their other teammates struggled and hit just -.136. This resulted in a .117 hitting percentage for Indiana in the match, while the Terps hit .233, a number that was much higher before they hit .027 in the third set.

Maryland once again came out fast, but unlike Wednesday against Ohio State was able to sustain the momentum. The Terps scored the first five points of the match on their way to a 25-17 win in set one. Maryland hit .375 in set one, compared to a hit percentage of just .087 for Indiana.

However, it was still a sloppy set on both sides, as the two teams combined for seven attack errors and eight service errors.

Both teams traded the first 10 points of the second set, but Maryland’s attack began to wear down the Hoosiers. Following a kill from Beerman, the Terps went on a 9-2 run to take a 14-7 lead, and eventually led by 10 heading into set point. Maryland had little trouble placing kills, and got contributions from each side of the floor on its way to a .400 hitting percentage in the set. Indiana’s fatigue helped the Terps in serving as well, which led to four Maryland aces, including three from Pritchard. Indiana finally showed signs of life after that, taking advantage of three Maryland errors before a Milana kill put away set two.

It looked the Terps were on their way to another relatively easy set win, as they jumped out to a 12-9 lead in the third set. The Hoosiers responded with a 5-0 run to take a 14-12 lead. Maryland put up two consecutive points to tie, but then the Hoosiers went on a 5-0 run to take a 19-14 lead. The Terps chipped away and retook the lead 23-22 after two service aces from Milana. Indiana scored the next two to force set point, but Maryland scored the next three to win the match.

The Terps visit Michigan State on Friday night.

Three things to know

  1. This was a nice bounce back performance. In the Big Ten, a two game losing streak can snowball on a team quickly. That’s the situation the Terps were in tonight, but they came out loose and looked like they put their recent struggles behind them. That’s big for a young team, and is definitely something they’ll need to continue doing when the competition gets tougher.
  2. The Terps are a resilient squad. Multiple times this year, Maryland has dropped a set or found itself down late in one only to come back and steal it. This happened again Wednesday, when it turned a 19-14 third set deficit into a 26-24 win. Some teams would’ve folded in that situations, especially ones inexperienced as Maryland. Steve Aird always preaches to be ready for the next point, and it looks like the Terps took that approach tonight.
  3. Hailey Murray continues to step up. The senior middle blocker came into the match hitting .500, and that percentage will only go up after she hit .667 tonight. She continues to be a force in the middle, and the Terps will need it to stay that way after Katie Myers was ruled out for the season on Wednesday.