ELON, N.C. – Adreené Elliott averaged 4.5 kills per set over the course of three matches as the Maryland volleyball team captured the Phoenix Invitational title Saturday. The Terps defeated Liberty, 3-2, and San Jose State, 3-0, to add to their win over Elon Friday evening.
“I was happy that we found ways to win despite not playing as well as I had hoped we would play this weekend,” said head coach Steve Aird. “The good news is they competed at a decent level and we are a better team now than we were when we started the year. It’s great to get three wins under our belt.”
Elliott earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors for her efforts, while Carlotta Oggioni and Emily Fraik were named to the all-tournament team.
Game One: Maryland 3, Liberty 2
Elliott tallied a career-high 24 kills, Oggioni had a career-best 51 assists and freshman Hailey Murray posted 11 kills with a .529 hitting percentage to lead Maryland to a 3-2 victory over Liberty Saturday morning.
After dropping the first two sets, the Terrapins clawed back in dramatic fashion to win three consecutive sets and win the match.
The comeback began immediately in the third set as the Terps used an Ashleigh Crutcher kill and an service ace to jump out to a 3-0 advantage. The Flames battled back to square the game at 20 late in the match, but Maryland rattled off three straight points to take a firm grasp on the set to secure the win.
The fourth set was all Maryland as the Terps claimed the set, 25-14, with a .474 team hitting percentage. The Terrapins committed just two errors in the set, led by Elliott’s three kills on four attempts.
The Terps led the fifth and decisive set early, 4-0, after a string of Flame attack errors, but Liberty came roaring back to tie the match. All square at 13, Maryland reeled off a string of points to open the lead and capture the win on a kill by Fraik and a service ace by Samantha Higginbothem.
Game Two: Maryland 3, San Jose State 0
Four Terrapins tallied double-digit dig counts and Elliott posted 14 kills to guide Maryland to a methodical 3-0 victory over San Jose State in the second game of the day.
Fraik (12 kills, 10 digs) and Oggioni (28 assists, 10 digs) each tallied double-doubles in the contest as the Terps held San Jose State to a meager .140 hitting percentage.
The first set proved to be the most exciting frame of the match, as Maryland held on for a 28-26 victory. Trailing 24-23 and on the brink of defeat, Fraik hammered consecutive kills to flip the script and give the Terps a 25-24 advantage. Maryland then sealed the set after a pair of attack errors by the Spartans.
Elliott led the way with a six-kill performance in the second set to give Maryland a dominating 25-12 victory, before Higginbothem, Amy Dion and Kaitlyn King combined for 23 digs in the third set to guide Maryland to the tournament championship.