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Terps draw record crowd against Penn State

An XFINITY Center Pavilion record crowd ow 1,808 attended their match against Penn State.

An XFINITY Center Pavilion record crowd ow 1,808 attended their match against Penn State.

On a Friday night when the Terps basketball team opened their season just down the hallway at XFINITY Center at the same time, the Maryland Volleyball team still saw a record crowd of 1,808 fans pile into the Pavilion to witness the match against No. 10 Penn State.

As has been the case this year, Maryland remained competitive in each set, and saw a remarkable performance from Gia Milana, who registered 20 kills, but in the end were unable to overcome a top-ranked opponent as the Nittany Lions earned the 3-1 victory – 21-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-18.

“It was a tough match tonight against a very good team,” head coach Steve Aird said. “I thought we played hard and did some nice things, but Penn State was better tonight. I am proud of the program, and proud that so many people came out to support us. We are going to be really good in the next few years and the goal is to battle the rest of the season, develop and grow.”

With Milana as the centerpiece of that growing team, the future does indeed look very bright for the Terps. Along with her 20 kills she also had 11 digs.

She had six of her kills in the opening set, where the Terps out-hit the Nittany Lions .273 to .119 on their way to a set victory.

Penn State scored the first three points of the set but after Milana got them their first point with a kill, the Terps out-paced their opponent out to a 6-5 lead. The 10th-ranked team in the country responded to get back ahead by two points at 11-9, but another kill by Milana sparked a 5-0 run that put the Terps in control of the set with a 14-11 lead.

Extending that 5-0 lead to an 8-1 lead, Maryland held a five-point advantage at 17-12.

Penn State would continually fight back, but the Terps always had an answer. The set was tied after Penn State scored six of the next seven points, but yet again, Milana smacked a kill that sparked three in a row by Maryland.

After back-to-back points by Penn State, a Milana kill let to another string of three-straight points. Those little bursts were so key late in the set. The last 3-0 run put Maryland ahead 24-20. A service error cost Maryland one set point, but Liz Twilley ended the set with a kill to put Maryland ahead on sets.

Maryland also scored two of the first three points of the second set, but Penn State took control right away with a five-point run. Maryland was never even able to tie the score in the second set after that as they hit just .108.

Milana was held without a kill until she made the score 18-14. After a Penn State point, she smacked another one to help the Terps onto a 5-1 run, but that only got Maryland within two points at 19-17. The Nittany Lions were able to keep the distance through to the end of the set. Milana saved a set point with a kill and an attack error on Penn State cost them another, but a service error by Ashlyn MacGregor ended the set.

Penn State showed their superiority in the last two sets, leading the third set 23-13 before a five-point Maryland run got them closer, but it was nothing close to enough to get them out of the hole they were in. The fourth set was tied at 13-13, but Penn State scored six-straight points and out-paced Maryland from there on their way to the match victory.

Freshman setter Taylor Smith finished the match with 37 assists and 17 digs.

Maryland will end their three-game home stand on Sunday with a match against Rutgers at noon.

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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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