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Maryland volleyball stays close, but falls in 4 sets to No. 3 Minnesota

The Terps started out hot, but couldn’t keep up with the Golden Gophers.

Maryland volleyball Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Despite a fast start, Maryland volleyball fell short against No. 3 Minnesota on Friday night, losing in four sets with scores of 25-17, 19-25, 23-25 and 25-20.

Maryland had a good offensive attack, hitting .245 with 55 kills and 19 attack errors, matching up well with Minnesota. Four Maryland players finished with at least 10 kills: Erika Pritchard led with 16, Liz Twilley added 11, and Emma Schriner and Katie Myers had 10 each. Nicole Alford had 43 assists and Allegra Rivas led with 25 digs, Pritchard following with 18.

Minnesota is now 17-0 in conference play. Maryland entered Friday’s match having won four of its last five matches, and despite a hot start in this one, the Terps couldn’t hold off the nation’s No. 3 team.

Maryland started out hot in set one and got out to a surprising 1-0 match lead. The Terps broke out to a 5-2 lead early and slowly grew the lead over the course of the set. The lead grew to 18-10 from a 8-3 Maryland run. The Golden Gophers got the set as close as 21-15 late, but Maryland held the lead, winning 25-17. Minnesota didn’t lead or tie the entire set. Maryland hit .414 with 17 kills in the period, while Minnesota struggled, hitting .133 with nine kills and five attack errors.

The Terps came back to earth in set two and Minnesota came alive after being down six to even the match at one. It looked like Maryland was on their way to taking another set against Minnesota, leading as big as 14-8. However, The Golden Gophers went on a 17-5 run, including a 7-0 and 5-0 run to end the set, winning 25-19. Maryland slumped, hitting .122, while Minnesota attacked with more efficiency, hitting .268 with 15 kills.

Despite several Maryland runs, Minnesota took the third set and took a 2-1 match lead. The Gophers took an early 7-3 advantage and stretched it out to 15-10, but a 5-0 Maryland run tied the set after a timeout. Minnesota went up again 20-17, but the Terps went on a 4-0 run to take a 21-20 lead following a timeout. However, Minnesota went on a 5-2 run to win the set, 25-23. Maryland had a better attacking set, hitting .295, while Minnesota hit .231 with 19 kills.

Maryland started out hot, but Minnesota quickly took over to end the set and match. The Terps took a 5-1 lead, but the Gophers went on a 7-1 run to take an 8-6 lead, extending it to 19-13. The Terps fought back late, cutting the lead to 24-20, but the Gophers would win the set, 25-20. Maryland and Minnesota both hit .171 in the last set.

The Terps continue their home stretch Saturday night at 7 p.m. against No. 7 Wisconsin.