Maryland Volleyball Opens Season at Phoenix Invite

Maryland Athletics
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland volleyball team begins a new era as it opens its inaugural season in the Big Ten Conference at the Phoenix Classic in Elon, N.C. The Terps begin the season Friday, Aug. 29., against Elon at 7 p.m., before facing Liberty (10 a.m.) and San Jose State (4:30 p.m.) Saturday, Aug. 30.

LiveStats will be available for all three games and updates will also be posted to the Maryland Volleyball Facebook page and Twitter feed, so "Like" and "Follow" to get updates sent straight to you. Also be sure to follow the Terps on Instagram: @MarylandVolleyball.

• Maryland is 26-17 (.605) all-time in season-openers, and is currently on a two-match win streak in such matches.

Ticket Information

• Season tickets for Maryland volleyball matches are available online by clicking here. Tickets for nine women's and 12 men's matches are just $40 for adults and $25 for youth (3-17) or seniors (62+).

• Single game tickets for Maryland volleyball matches are also available online by clicking here. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for youth or seniors. General admission groups (15+) can purchase tickets for $3. Tickets are also available at the door one hour prior to kickoff on a limited basis.

Click here to purchase the Maryland Athletics Pride Pass and receive admission to the following sports: Men's Soccer and Women's Soccer, Volleyball, Wrestling, Men's Lacrosse, Women's Lacrosse, and Baseball. Pass is valid for regular season contests for the 2014 - 2015 athletic season. The Maryland Pride Pass is available for a single admission for $99 and for the pass holder and a guest for $150.

Scouting the Elon Phoenix

• Elon opens its season against the Terps after posting a 16-17 record in 2013. The Phoenix were 16-12 on Nov. 11, but faltered down the stretch losing five straight matches.

• The Phoenix return junior Megan Gravley (2.82 kills/s) and senior Kris Harris (2.54 kills/s), their top offensive players from a season ago. Elon also returns its leading setter: Ana Nicksic (6.99 assists/s).

• This is the first meeting in history between Maryland and Elon.

Scouting the Liberty Flames

• Selected to finish third in the Big South coaches presesason poll, Liberty is coming off a disappointing 11-18 season. The Flames found their rhythm at the end of the season, however, winning their final four games before falling to No. 1 seed Radford in five sets at the Big South Tournament.

• Liberty is in search of its offensive leader in 2014 as it looks to replace Lillie Hapel (2.86 kills/s), who was the lone player on the team to tally more than 200 kills in 2013. The Flames also lost their top setter and blocker from last season.

• This marks the fourth all-time meeting between Maryland and Liberty, with the Terps holding a 2-1 advantage. Liberty won the most recent meeting in 2008, however.

Scouting the san jose state spartans

• San Jose State struggled last season as it finished with an 8-23 record, including a six-match losing streak to close the season.

• The Spartans lost their top four leaders in kills from 2013, including All-Mountain West Conference honoree Hanah Blume (3.59 kills/s). Looking to rebuild, San Jose State will rely on lone senior Kiely Pieper (2.90 digs/s) to lead the team.

• Maryland and San Jose State have never met before in history.

Maryland's Probable Starters (2013 stats)

Pos. No. Player Yr. Ht. Hometown SP K/s A/s Digs/s B/s
OH 4 Emily Fraik Jr. 6-2 Wyoming, Ohio 120 1.73 0.12 1.32 0.71
S 9 Carlotta Oggioni So. 5-10 Rome, Italy 18 0.11 3.50 0.67 0.17
L 11 Amy Dion Jr. 5-7 Algonquin, Ill. 117 0.22 4.83 1.85 0.00
OH 14 Ashleigh Crutcher Sr. 6-1 Raleigh, N.C. 77 3.95 0.22 2.18 0.58
OH 15 Adreené Elliott Sr. 6-3 Winston Salem, N.C. 121 2.74 0.02 0.25 0.88
MB 18 Ashlyn MacGregor So. 6-2 Tarpon Springs, Fla. 115 0.84 0.04 0.19 1.33

A new era

• The Terrapin volleyball team began a new era on Jan. 29, 2014, when Steve Aird was hired as the fourth head coach in prorgam history. Prior to his hiring, Aird had just helped guide the Penn State women’s volleyball team to its sixth national title as an assistant coach. Aird won a pair of national titles in two stints with Penn State, while also gaining experience at Auburn and Cincinnati.

• Aird completed his staff by hiring Adam Hughes and Kristin Kenney as assistant coaches, in addition to adding Stephen Yates as the director of volleyball operations.

Tough Schedule

• The Terps leave the ACC to join the Big Ten this season -- arguably the toughest volleyball conference in the nation. The Big Ten featured seven teams in the 2013 NCAA Sweet 16, including NCAA runner-up Wisconsin and national champion Penn State.

• The Terps are scheduled to play 13 matches against teams ranked in the AVCA preseason national poll this season - marking their toughest schedule in history. Two of the matches include a road trip to Seattle, Wash., to face No. 4 Washington and No. 5 USC. Maryland will also play a pair of matches against No. 1 Penn State, No. 7 Nebraska, No. 8 Purdue and No. 12 Minnesota.


• Maryland enters relatively uncharted waters this weekend as it faces Elon and San Jose State for the first time in program history, while playing Liberty four the fourth time. The Terps are 2-1 all-time against Liberty, despite losing the most recent matchup on Aug. 30, 2008 at the VCU Invitational.

BTN Schedule Released

• The Terps are slated to play at least 14 matches this season on the Big Ten Network platform, including the Rutgers match on Oct. 21 which will air nationally on Big Ten Network. The other 13 matches will be streamed live on the BTN2Go app (BTN Plus), which is the official app of the Big Ten Network. Fans can access all Big Ten content on BTN Plus for $119.95 per year or a $14.95 monthly subscription. A Maryland School Pass for BTN Plus, which includes all Terrapin contests, home and away, on BTN Plus for $79.95 per year or for a $9.95 monthly subscription.

Block Party

• The Terrapins found much of their success last season at the net on the defensive end, ranking 15th in the nation with 2.82 blocks/s. Maryland returns 82 percent of its blocking from a season ago, led by sophomore Ashlyn MacGregor. MacGregor tallied 1.33 blocks/s as a freshman, which ranked third in the ACC and 28th in the nation. The Terps return their top-5 blockers from last season, including Adreené Elliott (0.88/s) and Kelsey Hrebenach (1.08/s).

The Terps' Crutch

Ashleigh Crutcher returns to the Terrapin lineup for her senior season after totaling 304 kills in 2013 despite playing in just 77 sets due to injuries. A two-time all-conference performer and honorable mention all-american as a sophomore, Crutcher leads the Terrapin offense and is hoping for a healthy senior season. The Raleigh, N.C., native has the ability to take matches over, tallying more than 20 kills on four occasions last season.

Elliott Trains with the Best

• Senior Adreené Elliott, a 2013 All-ACC honoree, was one of 36 athletes across the nation chosen to participate in the U.S. Collegiate National Team program this past summer in Minnesota. Elliott spent nine days training with the best college volleyball players in the nation, and was coached by retired coaching legends Mike Hebert and Bill Neville. She is Maryland’s “Iron Woman,” having played in 279 consecutive sets and a total of 358 of a possible 361 sets during her career.

Location, Location, Location

• Although Maryland is not scheduled to play a home match until Oct. 3, the program is excited to be hosting matches at three different facilities this season: the XFINITY Center Pavilion (primary), the XFINITY Center main court (first time since 2010) and Ritchie Coliseum (first time since 2002).