Maryland volleyball outside hitters Erika Pritchard and Jada Gardner will compete in this summer’s Big Ten foreign tour to Japan, the league announced Thursday.
The 12-player roster includes members of 11 of the league’s 14 programs; Maryland is the only team with two representatives. Pritchard, Gardner and the rest of the squad will visit Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo from June 14-26. In addition to volleyball, the team will explore several Japanese landmarks and historic sites (such as Mt. Fuji and the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest) and study with local students.
This is the third time the Big Ten has sponsored this foreign tour. Maryland has been represented by middle blocker Hailey Murray in 2015 and outside hitter Samantha Drechsel in 2017 (then-Terps coach Steve Aird led that squad).
Pritchard was a First Team All-Big Ten selection in 2018, racking up 493 kills and a Big Ten-high 4.32 kills per set. Gardner was injured for the majority of the season, but tallied 91 kills, 64 digs and 25 blocks in the 12 matches she played. Under new coach Adam Hughes (whose birthday was Wednesday), Maryland went 18-14 overall and a program-best 9-11 in the daunting Big Ten. The Terps are still seeking their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2005, but there’s reason for optimism.
Another Terp, middle blocker Katie Myers, will head to Japan in May with the US Collegiate National Team.
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