The Maryland volleyball team travels to Ann Arbor, Mich. for the Michigan Invitational this weekend as it takes on No. 10 Michigan (7-1), No. 24 Ohio (8-1) and Marshall (5-7).Action begins Friday at 1 p.m. as the Terrapins face Ohio, before battling future Big Ten foe Michigan later that night at 7:30 p.m. Maryland will then play Marshall Saturday at 2 p.m. in its final tune-up before opening Atlantic Coast Conference play.
Maryland (8-1) has won six consecutive matches since September 6 by a combined total of 18-2, including straight set victories last weekend against New Hampshire, George Mason and Villanova. The Terps are off to their best record since 2010, and head coach Tim Horsmon is just one win away from claiming his 300th career victory.
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Scouting the Terps
A week removed from claiming its third consecutive tournament title last weekend in College Park, Md., the Maryland volleyball team is poised for its toughest competition to date in Ann Arbor, Mich. In addition to facing future Big Ten foe, No. 10 Michigan, the Terps will take on No. 24 Ohio and Marshall as they prepare to open Atlantic Coast Conference play.Senior Mary Cushman took home tournament MVP honors from the Maryland Invitational over the weekend, notching 35 kills (3.89/s) and and 27 digs. The hitter had a monster game against Villanova to close the tournament, posting 16 kills (.452 pct.) and 13 digs. Joining Cushman on the All-Tournament team were Adreené Elliott and Ashleigh Crutcher.
The powerful Crutcher displayed strong defense on the weekend, notching double-digit dig totals in all three contests. The junior had 14 digs for the Terrapins against New Hampshire, in addition to firing four service aces.
Scouting the Bobcats
No. 24 Ohio jumped into the national rankings after earning three victories at the WKU Invitational last weekend against UNLV, No. 21 Western Kentucky and Virginia. The Bobcats' lone loss this season came on September 6 in a five-set defeat against then-No. 24 North Caorlina.Kelly Lamberti leads Ohio with 103 kills (3.32/s), but was held to a .150 hitting percentage against Virginia September 14. Abby Gilleland has performed well as the Bobcats' setter, averaging 10.35 assists per set.
Scouting the Wolverines
After climbing as high as seventh in the national polls, Michigan lost its first game of the season September 14 against Florida State, 3-2. The Wolverines had four players with double-figure kills in the match, but squandered a 2-0 lead (25-21, 25-23, 17-25, 19-25, 13-15).
Michigan features a balanced hitting corps, featuring Lexi Erwin, Molly Toon, Jennifer Cross and Abby Cole, who are each averaging more than 2.50 kills per set. Ally Sabol has been lethal at the service line, firing 11 service aces with only one error.
Scouting the Herd
Despite getting off to a slow 2-7 start to begin the season, Marshall rattled off three straight victories last weekend in the Thunder Invitational against Southern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky and Kent State.
Marshall has been the benficiary of strong play from freshman Ally Kiekover, who has opened her collegiate campaign with a team-high 117 kills and 32 blocks. Additionally, senior Dorothy Rahal garnered Thunder Invitational MVP honors last weekend.
Maryland (8-1) is off to its best start since 2010 after sweeping New Hampshire, George Mason and Villanova in straight sets to claim its third consecutive tournament title last weekend. Including this season, the Terps have started 8-1 three times in the past seven seasons (2007, 2010). The 2007 team finished 18-13 overall, while the 2010 squad was 19-13. With a victory against No. 24 Ohio, the Terrapins would garner their best record to start a season since 2005, when they started 14-0 en route to claiming a share of the ACC Championship.
Among the Best in the Nation
Maryland has been dominant at the net this season defensively, holding opponents to a meager 0.90 hitting percentage.
The Terps rank third nationally in opponent hitting percentage, with only Buffalo (0.71) and American (0.89) posting better percentages.
George Mason struggled mightily against the Terrapins, notching just 22 kills on 81 attacks with 25 errors (-0.37%). The Terps had 16 blocks in the victory, including four each from Emily Fraik and Ashley MacGregor.
Climing the Record Books
Senior Mary Cushman notched her 1,059th career kill against Villanova last weekend, moving into eighth on the all-time time Maryland kills list. Cushman also ranks fifth all-time in total attacks (3,100).
Senior Sarah Harper currently ranks fifth all-time in digs (1379) and 10th in service aces (92). She needs just seven digs this weekend to move into fourth on the Maryland list.
A consistent hitter at the net, junior Adreené Elliott is third all-time in hitting percentage (.320) through her first 272 sets in College Park.
In the third set against Penn September 7, Mary Cushman eclipsed 1,000 career kills. The senior outside hitter finished the weekend with 33 kills and earned tournament MVP honors the following weekend.
Alex Brown and Jessica Ward made their Terrapin debuts during the Maryland Invitational. Brown made her collegiate debut against LIU in the first game on September 7, while Ward appeared against Penn in the tournament finale.
Along with Julia Anderson and Ashlyn MacGregor, the Terps have debuted four new members of the 2013 squad.
Head Coach Tim Horsmon -- 300 Victories Looming
Tim Horsmon is in his sixth season in charge of the Maryland volleyball team. Horsmon has 299 career victories in his 15 seasons as a head coach -- just one victory away from 300.
2013 Maryland Record...
|ACC Record at Home||0-0|
|ACC Record on Road||0-0|
|2012 NCAA Tournament Teams||1-0|
|In Three Sets||5-1|
|In Four Sets||1-0|
|In Five Sets||2-0|
|When Winning Set 1||4-0|
|When Losing Set 1||2-1|
|When Winning Set 2||3-0|
|When Losing Set 2||3-1|
|When Winning Set 3||6-0|
|When Losing Set 3||0-1|
|When Winning Set 4||2-0|
|When Losing Set 4||0-0|
|Leading in Kills||7-1|
|Trailing in Kills||1-0|
|Tied in Kills||0-0|
|Leading in Errors||0-1|
|Trailing in Errors||8-0|
|Tied in Errors||0-0|
|Leading in Hitting Pct.||8-0|
|Trailing in Hitting Pct.||0-1|
|Tied in Hitting Pct.||0-0|
|Hitting .300 or better||2-0|
|Hitting .149 or below||1-0|
|Opponent Hit .300 or better||0-0|
|Opponent Hit .250-.299||0-1|
|Opponent Hit .200-.249||0-0|
|Opponent Hit .150-.199||1-0|
|Opponent Hit .149 or below||7-0|
|Leading in Service Aces||4-1|
|Trailing in Service Aces||1-0|
|Tied in Service Aces||3-0|
|Leading in Digs||5-1|
|Trailing in Digs||2-0|
|Tied in Digs||1-0|
|Leading in Blocks||7-0|
|Trailing in Blocks||0-0|
|Tied in Blocks||1-1|
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Live Stats: Follow Terps games live in 2013 on your computer. Links for all games that will be available can be found at umterps.com.