COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Maryland volleyball team dropped a five-set heartbreaker to No. 14 North Carolina in front of a raucous crowd at Comcast Pavilion Sunday afternoon. Junior Ashleigh Crutcher led the offense with 25 kills, while Adreene Elliott and Mary Cushman added 14 and 12, respectively.
The Terps were excellent defensively, tallying 24 blocks – the second-most by an ACC team this season (FSU – 28). Freshman Ashlyn MacGregor tallied 12 blocks for the second consecutive match, while Emily Fraik had a career-high 10 blocks.
Maryland (13-17, 5-13 ACC) shined with its back against the wall, forcing a decisive fifth set after dropping the opening two sets. The Terps could not put the Tar Heels away, however, failing to capitalize on a number of match points. North Carolina pounced on its opportunity, winning the fifth set, 20-18.
The first set went continuously back-and-forth with 10 lead changes and 19 ties, taking the set to a 29-27 final score. Adreene Elliot was a perfect 5-for-5 on attacks, as Crutcher tallied eight kills of her own.
The second set began almost as a mirror image of the first, with the Terps taking their first lead at 7-6. The Tar Heels pulled away, however, taking the frame, 25-19.
Maryland responded from the intermission break with a vengeance, leading by as much as eight in the third set. After a flurry of set and match points between the two, Maryland finally took the set, 28-26, on a Hrebenach and Elliott block. The Terps then dominated the fourth set from the outset, 25-19.
Maryland wraps up regular season play next weekend at Virginia Tech Friday and at Virginia Saturday.