Saturday night’s match for the Maryland Lady Terps was their toughest on paper against the # 3 Penn State Lady Nittany Lions. A victory would go a long way to boosting their resume for the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament, as Maryland already had a stunning 3-0 victory against then-ranked #18 USC back on September 14th.
Unfortunately, there was no upset and the Lady Nittany Lions (15-1, 5-1 B1G Ten) swept the Lady Terps (13-5; 2-4 B1G Ten) 3-0; 25-17; 25-11; 25-23. Each team registered 34 kills but the biggest stat was the number of total errors. Maryland had 20, Penn State only had 9 (that’s some clean hitting right there!)
Maryland came out of the gate quickly, jumping out to a 3-1 lead. When Penn State’s Ali Frantti had an attack error to award Maryland that point, the Lady Terps went back into the lead at 8-7. But the Lady Nittany Lions showed why the are the #3 team in the nation and ended the set on a 17-10 run and won the set with Gia Milana had a service error.
The second set started in Maryland’s favor with the first point. But Penn State went on a mini streak to never relinquish the lead. After another kill by Milana pulled Maryland to within 5-4, the Lady Nittany Lions went on a massive 10-0 run and would close out the second set with two consecutive service aces.
Maryland best chance to take a set came in the third set but first had to overcome a 3-0 start by Penn State. Maryland then went on their night’s best 6-0 point streak to go up 6-3. Back and forth for most of the set, the Lady Terps used a 3-0 run towards the end of the set to get with two points of taking it altogether when Milana recorded her final kill (of nine total) of the night and Maryland held a 23-21 lead. Maryland wouldn’t win another point, as Penn State took the last four, the set and match winning point came when Milana had an attack error and Penn State took it 25-23.
For the Lady Terps, they go back out on the road to visit their B1G Ten’s foes in the state of Illinois next weekend. First up on Friday, October 13th will be Northwestern (12-5; 2-3 B1G Ten) before travelling in-state to Champaign to battle Illinois (13-4; 4-2 B1G Ten) on Saturdasy, October 14th.