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Maryland volleyball swept by No. 16 Michigan State

The Terps drop to 1-2 in conference play with the road loss.

maryland volleyball Gabe Fernandez/Testudo Times

Maryland volleyball was swept by No. 16 Michigan State Friday, dropping the Terps to 12-3 this season. Each of Maryland’s three Big Ten matches has been a sweep, with the Terps now 1-2 in conference play.

Gia Milana returned to her home state of Michigan, where the Terps will play Saturday as well. The Spartans, at 10-2, remained undefeated through their start in the Big Ten. Milana recorded eight kills on 28 attempts for a .143 clip. Freshman Erika Pritchard earned nine kills at a clip of .280.

As a team, UMD attacked at a clip of .133, while the Spartans recorded 38 kills at a clip of .314.

Maryland lost the first set 25-14. The Terps recorded only seven kills in the first set, and committed eight errors, including one that gave the Spartans their set point. Michigan State, on the other hand, recorded an efficient clip at .320, with six different players recording kills. The set was never close, with the Terps trailing by more than three from the time the score was 6-3 until the end of the set.

Maryland took its first lead of the match in the second set at 4-3. The two teams traded points closely until Michigan State earned a three point lead at 12-9. The Spartan attack remained efficient, and combined with Maryland’s continued errors, they pulled ahead, going on a 9-1 streak to make the game 18-10.

That streak ultimately gave the Spartans the set, when the Terps had little response. Maryland again lost the second set 25-14. The Spartans improved their clip to .340, while the Terps’ second set hitting percentage was only a slight improvement, recording eight kills and five errors.

The third set again began close, before the Spartans gained a 9-6 lead following two UMD errors. The Terps took advantage of Spartan errors to make the game 12-11, before Michigan State recorded three straight kills. The Spartans went on another streak, making the game 20-14. The Terps went on a late run, but the Spartans already had 24 points. It wasn’t enough, when the Spartans ultimately recorded their last kill to make the game 25-21. The Terps lost the third set, despite scoring a third more than they had in their first two sets.

Maryland plays No. 23 Michigan on Saturday night in Ann Arbor.

Three things to know

  1. Errors cost the Terps. The Terrapins averaged five errors a set, and only nine kills. Not only did Maryland not have a response for Michigan State’s attack, they failed to get their own momentum going.
  2. Michigan State’s attack was too much. The Spartans had four players with seven or more kills. Maryland had just Milana and Pritchard. Only four other players recorded kills, none of them recording as many as six. If the Terps expect to perform against other ranked Big Ten opponents, they’ll need to buckle down, making sure their attacks at least land on target.
  3. The dependence on Pritchard and Milana continued. The two underclassmen made up nearly 60 percent of the Terrapins’ attack. When the two of them are unable to score, the Terps have had no other answers. They’ll need players like Gaskin, Murray, and Samantha Drechsel to take the weight off the stars if they hope to compete consistently in the conference.