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Terps volleyball shocks No. 19 Buckeyes, 3-2

Maryland posted 15 blocks against Ohio State, holding the Buckeyes to just a .176 hitting percentage.

Maryland posted 15 blocks against Ohio State, holding the Buckeyes to just a .176 hitting percentage.

They’ve been on the cusp all season long and on Wednesday night the Maryland volleyball team shocked No. 19 Ohio State at the XFINITY Pavilion in five sets. Maryland was close in all three sets against No. 2 Nebraska last week. They took Michigan to five sets before losing in heart-breaking fashion. Then finally the Terps earned their first conference win of the season on Saturday with a sweep of Rutgers and parlayed that victory into a win over a nationally-ranked Buckeyes squad, 3-2.

Maryland was out-hit and had few kills than the Buckeyes, but the Terps had five blocks, eight aces and out-pointed Ohio Stat 81-76 on their way to a 25-21, 22-25, 30-28, 25-19, 15-12 comeback victory.

“I am proud of my team,” head coach Steve Aird said. “They played hard and found a way to win. We have 48 hours to get ready to play Ohio State again, and I know they’ll be ready to go at home.”

Sophomore hitter Liz Twilley led Maryland with 13 kills and set new career-highs with seven digs and six assists blocks. Senior middle blocker Ashlyn MacGregor led Maryland hitting .471 with nine kills and five assists blocks. Hailey Murray also had nine kills to go with a team-best eight blocks.

Liz Twilley led Maryland with 13 kills and set career-highs in digs and blocks.

Liz Twilley led Maryland with 13 kills and set career-highs in digs and blocks.

Maryland used a 5-1 run in the first set to take control and were able to extend their lead out to 9-6. The Terps were able to keep their slight lead until the Buckeyes scored three-straight points with two blocks of their own and an ace. But trailing 17-16, Maryland got right back ahead with three-straight points and never trailed the rest of the set.

Murray earned a kill off a pass from Taylor Smith to take a 24-10 lead and they won it the set off an attack error by Luisa Schirmer.

After winning the first set, Ohio State used a 5-1 run to take a 6-3 lead in the second set, but Maryland went on a dominant 12-3 run to take a 15-9 lead. However, Ohio State refused to let Maryland run-away for another set win. The Buckeyes responded with six-straight points to tie the set. Both teams continued to exchange points, but after Maryland tied it at 21-21 off a kill by Angel Gaskin, the Buckeyes scored four of the next five points to tie the match.

The first half of the second set was as back-and-forth as a volleyball game could get with the team exchanging points, but the Terps were often the one chasing the game. Then, a 3-1 spurt by Ohio State put them ahead 15-12. Maryland struck back by earning three of the next four points, but another 3-1 run by the Buckeyes gave them a 19-16 lead.

Maryland was able to save two set points to tie the match at 24-24. A kill by Tyler Sandbothe earned the Buckeyes another opportunity at set points, but Gia Milana save it for Maryland with a kill. She followed it up with another kill as well to put Maryland back ahead at 26-25. But the Buckeyes then saved two set points with back-to-back kills by Sandbothe.

As neither team would relent, Milana saved another set point with another kill. An ace by Smith put the Terps ahead. But the couldn’t get the set point. Instead, the Buckeyes scored three-straight points to take a 2-1 lead.

But while maybe earlier in the season the Terps would have let that loss affect them and would drop the next set, they didn’t let the disappointment sink them. Maryland responded with a tremendous opening in the third set, taking a 9-3 lead. The Buckeyes inched back, but were never able to get particularly close to the Terps after falling behind by six points. The closest the Buckeyes would get was three points at 14-11 and then again at 16-13, but after the Buckeyes cut it to 16-13, Maryland really created some distance with a 5-1 run. Maryland led 21-14 and rolled to the set victory to tie the match at 2-2. They used 6.5 blocks in that set to take the victry.

And coming off that dominant set win, Maryland started out with a triple block by Milana, Smith and MacGregor. Milana, who had nine kills in the match, had another kill to put Maryland ahead 3-2. The set remained close but the Terps used a 7-2 run to take a 10-7 lead. The Buckeyes could get close one a few occasions, but could not get a lead back or even tie the set. A block by Gaskin and MacGregor pushed Maryland back ahead by two points at 13-11. Following a kill by OSU’s Kylie Randall, Gaskin earned the Terps a match point with a kill in response and Smith recorded a block to give the Terps the win.

Maryland will have a quick turnaround and will have to travel to Columbus, Ohio for the rematch against the Buckeyes on Friday. They will then play at Purdue next Wednesday before returning home for the start of a three-match home stand beginning against Minnesota on Sunday, November 6.

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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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