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Maryland volleyball loses in 4 sets to No. 13 Michigan

Maryland came out strong, but fell flat after set one, thanks in large part to a plethora of errors.

Maryland volleyball Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Despite a hot start, Maryland volleyball ended its short weekend home stand with a four-set loss to No. 13 Michigan. The Terps won the opening set 25-19, but dropped the last three 25-18, 25-22 and 25-15.

Michigan didn’t overpower Maryland by any means, but the Terps came up short because of 27 attack errors, including 10 in set two alone. Maryland was aided by their defense, who out-blocked the Wolverines 10 to five. On the offensive end, Erika Pritchard led the team with 18 kills, Liz Twilley followed with 14. Pritchard also had a double-double with 13 digs. Allegra Rivas led Maryland with 22 digs. Hailey Rubino also had 12.

The Terps had no answer for Carly Skojdt, who had 21 kills and two attack errors, hitting .380 in the match. While Pritchard had 18 kills, she also had 10 attack errors, hitting .170 in the match. Michigan hit .200 in the match while Maryland hit .129, even after hitting .429 in the first set.

The Terps fought back from a two-set hole against Michigan State on Friday before losing in the fifth. This match was more reminiscent of the meeting with then-No. 16 Purdue, in which Maryland also took the first set before losing the next three.

Maryland came out hot, taking a commanding early lead and not allowing Michigan to get back into the first set. The Terps started out on a 5-0 run and continued to build their lead from there. The lead slightly slipped after it got up to 23-15, but the Terps kept control, winning the set, 25-19. They hit .429 in the set, with 14 kills and just two attack errors. Michigan, on the other hand, hit .171, committing six attack errors. Maryland also had four total blocks in the set to Michigan’s one.

Set two was a letdown for the Terps, as a multitude of attack errors proved too costly to come back from. Michigan started out in front 5-2 after a 4-0 run. They extended it to 10-7 on a 3-0 run, but the Terps came back, evening the score at 12-12. The Wolverines took over, going on a 6-0 run to take an 18-12 lead. Maryland immediately cut it to 18-15, but Michigan closed out the set on a 7-3 run, winning 25-18 and evening the match at 1-1. Maryland hit .024 in the set with 12 kills and 11 attack errors. While Michigan didn’t fare much better, hitting .094 with five service errors, the Terps gave away too many points to have a chance to come back in the set.

Neither team dominated at the beginning of the third set, but Michigan was able to pull away, going on a 9-3 run to take a 13-8 lead, then extending that to 18-12. Both teams exchanged 3-0 runs, then Maryland went on a 5-0 run to cut the lead to 22-21, but Michigan ended the set strong, winning 25-22 and going up 2-1 in the match. Maryland hit better in this frame, but not much better, hitting .116 with 13 kills and eight attack errors. Michigan hit .238 with 15 kills and five attack errors.

Michigan took control in set four and dominated the rest of the set, especially at the end. The Wolverines began the set on a 4-1 run, extending the lead to 9-5. Maryland cut it to 13-11, but Michigan finished the match on a 12-4 run to win the set 25-15 and the match in four. The Terps hit .029 in the set with six attack errors, while Michigan hit .278 with 14 kills and four attack errors.

The Terps head on the road for their next three matches, beginning at No. 17 Purdue on Friday at 7 p.m. ET.