EVANSTON, Ill. – Sophomore outside hitter Liz Twilley posted 11 kills on a .357 clip as the Maryland volleyball team fell to Northwestern in three sets on Saturday evening. The Wildcats won by set scores of 26-24, 25-22, 25-21.
“We have a really young team and this is a really tough conference to play in on the road,” head coach Steve Aird said. “I’ll have to do a better job to prepare the team for the final week of the season so we can be ready to go in our last two matches.’
Freshman outside hitter Gia Milana also reached double-digit kills with 10. Senior middle blocker Ashlyn MacGregor had a hand in six of Maryland’s seven blocks. Sophomore libero Kelsey Wicinski led the Terps with 14 digs.
Northwestern began the first set on a 5-1 run before increasing the lead to 11-5 to force a Maryland timeout. The Wildcats reached a 17-9 advantage but the Terps began to work their way back into the set. Murray posted back-to-back kills and MacGregor notched a solo block as Maryland trailed by four, 19-15. Twilley and MacGregor combined for a block and Smith served an ace as the Terps trailed by just one, 20-19, and another Maryland block tied the set. The teams began to trade points as Maryland stayed within one. The Wildcats reached set point at 24-23 but a Milana kill tied again. Northwestern posted the next two points to take the set, 26-24.
The Terps again trailed early to start the second set as Northwestern took a 7-3 lead. Maryland used a 3-0 run to pull within two at 10-8. Milana followed a kill with a service ace as the Terrapins tied the set, 14-14. Maryland and Northwestern traded points before the Wildcats took a 19-17 lead off two straight Terp attack errors. Maryland pulled within one at 23-22 on a Wicinski service ace, but two consecutive Wildcat points gave the home team a 25-22 set win.
The Terps held with Northwestern to start the third set, tying at 4-4 and 8-8. Maryland used a 4-0 to take a 10-8 lead before the Wildcats came back to tied at 10-10. The teams tied and traded leads in the middle of the set before a 3-0 run gave Northwestern a 20-18 lead. Milana notched one more kill, but the Wildcats finished the match with a 3-0 run, 25-21.
Maryland competes in its final two matches of the season next week. The Terps host Purdue on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. before taking on Indiana on Friday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. Both matches will be live streamed on BTN Plus.