Maryland Women’s Volleyball Sweeps Past Rutgers 3-0; Next Match Vs Penn State

Sometimes you circle a certain match-up on your calendar because that’s the “Big Game” and you need to avoid “The Trap.”  What is the trap?  The team you play right BEFORE that big game.

That was the case last night in College Park, where the Maryland Lady Terps (13-4; 2-3 B1G TEN) trailed in all three sets against the Rutgers Lady Scarlet Knights (5-12; 0-3 B1G TEN) before eventually sweeping all three sets, 25-18; 25-22; 25-17.   They overcame the deficits by playing more efficiently than they did last week when they suffered back to back losses to two teams nationally ranked in the Top 25 on the road (Michigan State and Michigan).

The Lady Terps had 43 kills (Gia Milana lead the team with 10) and a low 21 errors in the victory.  But they had to fend off a stubborn Lady Scarlet Knights team that clearly had an upset in mind.

Just a few minutes into the match, Rutgers held an 8-4 lead. Maryland would go on to win the next six consecutive points and cruised to the first set on a kill by Milana.

If the deficit was bad for Maryland in the first set, it was even greater come the second set, as this time Rutgers would race out to 7-1 lead.  Maryland didn’t see it’s first lead of the set until a service ace gave the Lady Terps an 18-17 advantage.  The score was tied at 22-22 before Maryland reeled off the final three points and took the second set on another kill by Milana.

But, as in the previous two sets, the third set once again saw Rutgers with a lead, though much smaller, at 4-3.  The two teams would battle back and forth and the last tie of the game came at 12-12.  Maryland went on a 13-5 run to close out the third set and the match, on a kill by Erica Pritchard (who had a beautiful set by Samantha Snyder).

The biggest test on the Lady Terps schedule comes tonight when #3 Penn State comes to the Xfinity Center (7:00 BTN PLUS).   After Maryland upset then-ranked #18 USC a couple of weeks ago, they have lost to the last three ranked teams they’ve face.  If they want to boost their dance card for the NCAA Tournament, a victory against Penn State could go a long way to doing just that.

 

Erick Seltzer

Former US Navy journalist. Was responsible for bringing the first-ever sports page/section to the base newspaper at Naval Submarine Base, Bangor in Silverdale, Washington. When it comes to sports, I either play it, watch it and/or write about it.

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