Maryland Upsets #19 Ohio State in Five Sets

Maryland Athletics
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#19 Ohio State
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Sophomore outside hitter Liz Twilley led the Terps with 13 kills and set new career highs in digs and blocks as the Maryland volleyball team upset No. 19 Ohio State in five sets on Wednesday evening. The Terrapins (10-13, 2-9 Big Ten) defeated the Buckeyes (14-9, 4-7) by set scores of 25-21, 22-25, 28-30, 25-19, 15-12.
“I am proud of my team,” head coach Steve Aird said. “They played hard and found a way to win. We have 48 hours to get ready to play Ohio State again, and I know they’ll be ready to go at home.”
Twilley hit at a .290 clip and posted seven digs and six blocks. Sophomore opposite Angel Gaskin notched 10 kills while senior middle blocker Ashlyn MacGregor, junior middle blocker Hailey Murray and freshman outside hitter Gia Milana each tallied nine kills.
Freshman setter Taylor Smith had a well-rounded outing, hitting seven kills on a .467 clip while dishing 48 assists, serving three aces and posting nine digs and four blocks.
Murray led the match with eight blocks while MacGregor tallied five.
This is the second win over a ranked Buckeye squad for the Terps. Maryland upset then-No. 12 Ohio State last season on Nov. 6, 2015.
Samantha Higginbothem started the Terps off in the match with a service ace and Smith served on to tie the set 4-4. Murray and Twilley combined for a block as the Terrapins led 11-9, and the home team held on to a 15-14 lead at the media timeout. Maryland continued to narrowly lead, and another Murray-Twilley block put the Terps up 22-19. The duo posted late kills, and a Buckeye attack error ended the set, 25-21.
The Buckeyes took an early 5-2 lead in the second set before the Terps used a 6-1 run to take an 8-6 lead. Maryland continued to push ahead with kills from MacGregor, Gaskin and Murray, and a Smith-Murray block forced an OSU timeout at 15-9. The Buckeyes fought back to tie the set, and the teams played closely for the remainder. Ohio State reached set point at 24-21, and Maryland was able to fight it with a Murray kill before the Buckeyes closed it, 25-22, and tied the match.
Both teams fought for the third set with 15 ties and seven lead changes. The Terps and Buckeyes stayed closely matched early before OSU pulled ahead to a 15-12 lead. Kills from Gaskin and Smith and another Higginbothem ace pulled Maryland within one, 16-15. Strong serving from Megan McTigue helped the Terps tie the set, 20-20, but the Buckeyes pulled ahead to set point, 24-22. Smith tied the set 24-24 with a kill, and a Milana kill put Maryland at set point, 26-25. The teams each reached set point once more, including a Terp set point off a Smith ace at 28-27. The Buckeyes were able to string together three points to take the set, 30-28.
The Terps used 6.5 total blocks in the fourth set to even the match. Twilley and MacGregor notched early kills before Maryland used four straight blocks to take a 9-3 lead. Murray and Smith notched kills as the Terrapins continued to push ahead, and a Twilley-Murray block gave Maryland a 21-14 lead. A Twilley kill put the Terps at set point, 24-18, and an OSU error finished the set in Maryland’s advantage, 25-19.
With the match on the line, the teams battled in the fifth set. Milana, Smith and MacGregor started the game out with a triple block and Milana added a kill to keep Maryland ahead 4-3. The teams stayed close but a Smith kill and Wicinski ace put the Terps ahead, 9-7. Maryland led the rest of the way, and a Gaskin-MacGregor block pushed the advantage to 13-11. Gaskin put the Terps at match point with a kill at 14-12, and Smith sealed the win with a solo block.
The Terps and Buckeyes will face off again on Friday in Columbus, Ohio, at 7 p.m.