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Milana posts 20 kills, but Terps swept by Iowa

Gia Milana once again showed she is going to be a start in the Big Ten with 20 kills against Iowa, but the Terps just don't have the supporting cast around her.

Gia Milana once again showed she is going to be a start in the Big Ten with 20 kills against Iowa, but the Terps just don’t have the supporting cast around her.

Maryland volleyball head coach Steve Aird knew coming across wins in a loaded Big Ten would be a tough task and through seven conference games the Terps volleyball team is still looking for their first one. On Friday night Maryland were swept by Iowa, but did show tremendous fight keeping all three sets close, 25-23, 26-24, 25-19.

The Terps hitting just wasn’t up to par with the Hawkeyes. Iowa out-hit Maryland .318 to .181 and were out-blocked 10-4 in the match. But the future keeps looking brighter and brighter with freshman Gia Milana dominating competition like she has been. Against Iowa, she registered 20 of the Terps 40 kills and 20 of their 46 total points while hitting a team-best .366.

After falling behind 2-0 in the first set, Milana pushed Maryland to a 5-3 lead She had five kills in that set, matching her next closest teammate’s total for the match and helped Maryland to at of a lead as 22-21.

The opening set was Maryland’s best in terms of hitting the ball, going at a .290-percent rate with only three attack errors. But despite the strong start, Maryland just didn’t have the firepower to finish the set. Iowa took the lead off a service error by the Terps and a service error by Annika Olsen. Liz Twilley re-tired the set with a kill, but back-to-back kills by Iowa hitters gave the Hawkeyes the 1-0 lead.

Maryland again had a strong start to the next set, taking as much as a five-point lead at 11-6, with three early kills by Milana. But after Maryland took that much of a lead, Iowa responded with three-straight points off kills and blocks. They extended their run to 5-1 to make it a 12-11 set.

The Terps did get back-to-back points and three of the next four to pad their lead back out to three points, but the Hawkeyes were just hitting better and kept on pushing toward the lead.

They finally got it at the end of a 6-2 run, leading Maryland 20-19.

Still not willing to give up, Maryland earned two kills to re-take the lead. However, four-straight points, with two blocks and two kills, gave Iowa a 24-21 lead. They had set point, but Maryland fought it off four times to re-tie the game. However, the Hawkeyes had another kill followed by another block to win the second set with an extra point.

Iowa’s momentum carried over into the third set. They hit a match-best .333. Meanwhile, Maryland hit a match worst .098 in the third.

Iowa took a 17-12 lead before Milana smacked three-straight skills to trim Maryland’s deficit. But again, Maryland couldn’t produce enough outside Milana. Iowa re-build their five-point lead at 19-14. Milana continued to do her part in trying to get Maryland back, but after a kill made it 20-17, the Hawkeyes scored four-straight points to make it a 24-17 set.

Maryland saved two match points, but were too far in the hole and Meghan Buzzerio eventually earned a kill to complete the sweep for Iowa.

The Terps will remain at home, but will have an even tough challenge on Sunday, hosting the No. 2 Nebraska Cornhuskers. They will be the fifth top-five ranked opponent of Maryland this year.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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