One night after picking up a crucial victory at Iowa, Maryland volleyball lost its regular-season finale at No. 6 Nebraska, falling in straight sets with scores of 13-25, 10-25, 18-25.
It was a tough offensive night for Maryland (18-14, 9-11 Big Ten), hitting .021 with 20 kills and 18 attack errors. Erika Pritchard led the team with seven kills, while Nicole Alford led with 15 assists and eight digs. Liz Twilley added six kills, and Hailey Rubino and Allegra Rivas were tied with six digs each.
Nebraska (24-6, 15-5 Big Ten) was dominant offensively, hitting .414 with 46 kills and 10 attack errors, hitting over .500 in each of the first two sets. Mikaela Foecke led the Huskers, hitting .577 with 16 kills and one attack error. Lauren Stivrins also hit .500 with eight kills and one error.
The Terps had already secured their best Big Ten record ever, but were looking to pick up another upset road win after knocking off Michigan earlier this month. Nebraska, meanwhile, solidified another successful regular season and home campaign with a 16-3 home record.
The Huskers dominated set one, taking an early lead in the match. The Huskers jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, extending that to 8-3 and then 13-4. Maryland fell flat in the set as Nebraska went on an 11-5 run to end the frame, winning 25-13. Nebraska dominated on offense, hitting .500 with 18 kills and three attack errors, while Maryland hit .065 with seven kills and five errors.
Set two was an even tougher set for the Terps. Nebraska went on a 9-0 run to take an early 11-1 lead, and the Huskers also went on a 9-3 run to end the set, winning 25-10. Maryland hit .043 in the set with five kills and four errors, while Nebraska improved to .542 with 14 kills and one error.
The Terps kept it closer in set three, but Nebraska won the set and match. The Huskers got out to a 6-2 lead, extending that to 11-6 and 15-10. Maryland went on a 3-0 run to cut the lead to 15-13, but that was as close as the Terps got, as Nebraska went on a 5-0 run and won the set 25-18. Maryland hit -.024 in the set with eight kills and nine errors; Nebraska regressed but still hit a solid .242.
Despite ending the season with a loss, the Terps had their best season in the Big Ten, recording their first-ever road victory against a ranked opponent and their first win against Michigan in program history. Maryland’s 9-11 Big Ten record is also its best since joining the nation’s toughest conference.
Maryland will now await what happens in the NCAA Tournament Selection Show on Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. ET to see if 2018 is a repeat of last year or its first tournament appearance in 13 years.