PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Freshman outside hitter Gia Milana led the match with 18 kills and four blocks as the Maryland volleyball team took down Rutgers in straight sets to earn the Terrapins’ first Big Ten win of the season on Saturday. The Terps (9-13, 1-9 B1G) defeated the Scarlet Knights (4-19, 0-10) by set scores of 25-20, 25-19, 26-24.
“I’m always happy to win a match,” head coach Steve Aird said. “Rutgers played hard and there was no quit in them. We aren’t elite yet, but we’re a good, young ball club and we learn every time we play.”
Maryland hit at a .282 clip in the match, the Terps’ highest mark in Big Ten play this season. Sophomore opposite hitter Angel Gaskin made nine kills while middle blockers Hailey Murray and Ashlyn MacGregor each hit six.
Milana notched three early kills and Smith served an ace as the Terps took a 4-2 lead in the first set. Rutgers came back to tie, and the teams traded points until a 4-0 Maryland run forced a Scarlet Knight timeout at 16-12. Milana and Murray notched late kills, and MacGregor sealed the set win with a kill at25-20. The Terps hit .469 in the first set.
Smith tallied back-to-back service aces as the Terrapins led 4-2 in the second set. Kills from Liz Twilley and Gaskin put Maryland ahead, 8-7. The Scarlet Knights fought back, and used two straight blocks to take a 12-10 lead. The Terps used a run of strong serving from MacGregor to push ahead, 20-16, including a service ace and two blocks. Rutgers fought off Maryland’s set point twice before a Scarlet Knight service error gave the Terps a 25-19 second set win.
Rutgers took an early lead in set three before Maryland came back to tie it, 7-7, off a Milana kill. The teams remained closely matched before the Scarlet Knights pulled ahead, 16-14. Three straight Maryland kills pulled the Terps within one, 18-17, but the home team pulled ahead again. Milana notched a kill and combined for a block with MacGregor to take the lead back, 22-21, and another Milana kill put Maryland at match point, 24-23. Rutgers tied the set before serving an error to put the Terps back at match point, and Milana knocked down a kill to give Maryland the sweep.
The Terps host No. 19 Ohio State on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the XFINITY Center Pavilion. The match will be aired on the Big Ten Network.