COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Junior middle blocker Hailey Murray posted nine kills on a .500 clip as the Maryland volleyball team fell to No. 2 Nebraska in three sets on Sunday afternoon. The Terps (8-12, 0-8 Big Ten) fell to the Huskers (16-1, 8-1) by set scores of 25-16, 25-14, 25-17.
“I think what you saw today was the defending national champions playing at a really high level,” head coach Steve Aird said. “They played a really clean match. For us, it was another great match to gain experience. Hailey had a great match offensively and did some really nice things. Nebraska is an exceptional team, and we definitely learned some lessons today.”
Freshman outside hitter Gia Milana led the match with 11 kills while sophomore libero Kelsey Wicinski posted a match-high 11 digs. Senior middle blocker Ashlyn MacGregor led the Terps with three blocks.
The defending national champions hit .429 in the match and notched 12.0 blocks.
Murray and Milana each tallied three kills to pace Maryland in the first set. Milana served an ace as the Terps pulled within two, 11-9. Milana and MacGregor each posted kills as the Terps fought to stay in the set, but the Huskers used a 3-0 run to pull ahead, 16-12. Liz Twilley hit a late kill and the Terps fought off set point twice, but Nebraska closed the game, 25-16.
The Huskers used a 4-0 run to take a 7-2 lead in the second set. Murray, Milana and MacGregor notched kills, but Nebraska pulled away, 17-8. Murray tallied two more kills and Taylor Smith hit a setter dump, but the Huskers held on to win the set, 25-14.
The Terps challenged the Huskers early in the third set as the teams traded points. Angel Gaskin gave Maryland a 4-3 lead early, and a Milana kill kept the Terrapins within one, 10-9. The Huskers began to pull away in the middle of the set, forcing a Maryland timeout at 18-12. Milana and MacGregor combined for a late block at 19-15, and a Nebraska error helped pull the Terps within three at 19-16. The Huskers went on a 5-0 run to reach set point, 24-16, and were able to close the match with a 25-17 set three win.
The Terps are back in action for a midweek match vs. No. 18 Michigan on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the XFINITY Center Pavilion. Maryland took the Wolverines to four sets on Oct. 7 in Ann Arbor.