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Maryland volleyball hangs tough with No. 7 Wisconsin, but falls in straight sets

The Terps kept it close, but the Badgers were too much on senior night.

Maryland volleyball Photo by Maryland Athletics

For the second straight night, Maryland volleyball kept close with a top-10 team but fell short, this time losing to No. 7 Wisconsin on senior night with set scores of 22-25, 26-28 and 22-25.

It was a tough offensive night for Maryland, hitting .127 with 37 kills and 20 attack errors. Erika Pritchard, despite posting a team-high 14 kills, struggled, hitting .055 with 11 attack errors. Rainelle Jones also had nine kills. Nicole Alford led in assists with 30 and Allegra Rivas led in digs with 14. Pritchard recorded a double-double with 11 digs.

The Badgers executed well on offense, hitting .254 with 50 kills and 17 attack errors. They were able to overcome their nine service errors, led by three scorers with double-digit kills.

Maryland (17-13, 8-10 Big Ten) came off a tough four-set loss to No. 3 Minnesota where the Terps took the first set and looked to be in control, but the Golden Gophers came back to win the next three. The Badgers (20-6, 13-5 Big Ten) are now on a four-match conference winning streak, coming in off a win Friday night at Ohio State.

The Terps came out strong in set one, but surrendered a late lead and the set to Wisconsin. Maryland led early, then went on a 5-0 run to take a 12-8 advantage. The Terps continued to lead at 17-14 and went up 19-17, but Wisconsin scored five straight points and went on an 8-3 run to end the set, winning 25-22. Maryland had a rough offensive set, hitting .060 with 12 kills and nine attack errors, while Wisconsin hit .262.

Set two was much closer and more back-and-forth, with the Badgers needing extra points to take a two-set lead. No team led by more than two and neither had a run of more than two points. However, Wisconsin took a 24-22 lead late, with Maryland tying it. Eventually, the Badgers would win after five set points, 28-26. Both teams attacked better in set two, with Maryland hitting .286 and Wisconsin improving to .327 with 24 kills.

Unlike the first two sets, Wisconsin built a lead and cushioned themselves enough to win the set despite a late Maryland run. The Badgers had a 3-1 lead early, extending that to 10-6 with a 3-0 run and 21-15 with a 4-1 run. Maryland tried to close the deficit going on a 5-0 run on match point, but the Badgers were too much, winning the set, 25-22. Set three was the worst for the Maryland attack, hitting .048 with 10 kills and eight attack errors. Wisconsin also faltered in the set, hitting .154, but the Badgers had enough.

Maryland goes on the road for its last two matches of the season, beginning on Friday at Iowa.