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Terps edged by Purdue in battle, 3-2

Hailey Murray led Maryland with 15 kills and hit a team-best .290.

Hailey Murray led Maryland with 15 kills and hit a team-best .290.

As the story has been pretty much the entire season, the Maryland volleyball team pushed their opponent with a gutsy effort, but was unable to come away with a victory. The Terps fell to a Purdue squad that was receiving votes in the Top 25 poll in five sets, 25-18, 24-26, 25-17, 22-25, 15-9.

Three Terps had double-digit kills and had 51 of their team’s 57 kills assisted. They actually out-pointed the Boilermakers in the match too, but Purdue was just better and used a 73-53 dig advantage to hold Maryland to just .186 hitting.

Maryland got off to a strong start in the opening set and took an 11-8 lead after consecutive kills by Liz Twilley and Hailey Murray. Purdue did score three of the next four set points, but the Terps still held on to have a 14-12 advantage. But Purdue was able to pull away after that. They went on a dominant 12-3 run to get a 24-17 lead.

Murray was able to save one set point with a kill off an assist by Taylor Smith, but Ashley Evans smacked the set-winner right after.

Maryland took a 7-5 lead in the second set with a pair of early kills, an ace, three blocks and an error by the Boilermakers. But it didn’t last too long. Purdue out-scored the Terps 9-3 to take a lead at 13-9. But Maryland was able to keep pace with Purdue and then used a 12-5 run to take control of the set. Purdue made thing very interesting by scoring three-straight points to tie the set at 23. The two teams then exchanged the next two points, but Maryland had help from a Purdue service error to get one point ahead and then Gia Milana smacked a kill to tie the match at 1-1 on sets.

Purdue wouldn’t let Maryland keep pace in the third set. Maryland took an early 4-3 lead, but after multiple exchanged of points the Boilermakers scored seven points in a row to take a 15-7 lead that they would not drop. Maryland cut into the league significantly by scoring six of the next eight points, but could only ever get back within three. Purdue went back ahead on sets with five-straight points to end the set.

They took the momentum into the fourth set too, taking an early 4-1 lead. Maryland did score four in a row to take a 5-4 lead. Purdue jumped out to a 12-8 leaded with an 8-3 run. Maryland never let things get out of hand, though. They scored six points in a row to re-take a 14-12 lead. The Terps never trailed after that either. Purdue scored three points in a row to tie the set at 19-19, but Maryland got a kill by Murray to re-take the lead and a kill by Twilley to make it a two-point advantage. Maryland has to fight until the very end, but they were able to get the set-winning kill from Ashlyn MacGregor to force a deciding fifth set.

After a somewhat slow start, Maryland scored three-straight points off kills by Milana and Murray and an ace by Megan McTigue to go ahead 7-6. It wouldn’t last, though. Purdue showed their power with five crucial points in a row to take a commanding 11-7 in the first to 15, win by two fifth set. They extended it out to a 9-2 lead to end the match with the set victory.

Murray, Twilley and Milana led Maryland with 15, 14 and 12 kills, respectively. Murray hit a team-best .290. Taylor Smith had 46 assists with two aces.

Maryland will wrap up their season on Friday when they host Indiana at 7 pm.

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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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