COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Junior middle blocker Hailey Murray notched a career-high 15 kills as the Maryland volleyball team narrowly fell to Purdue in five sets on Wednesday evening. The Boilermakers (18-12, 8-11 Big Ten) beat the Terps (11-20, 3-16) by set scores of 25-18, 24-26, 17-25, 25-22, 9-15.
“Hats off to Purdue. They are a tournament team that competed hard and made plays at crucial times,” head coach Steve Aird said. “We are moving on to Indiana right now. I expect us to play really hard on Friday.”
The Terps fought back from down 1-0 and 2-1 to extend the match to five sets. In the Pavilion this season, Maryland has taken four teams ranked or receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches Poll to five sets.
Sophomore outside hitter Liz Twilley posted 14 kills while freshman outside hitter Gia Milana knocked down 12. Sophomore opposite hitter Angel Gaskin led the Terps with four blocks while Murray added three. Sophomore libero Kelsey Wicinski led Maryland with 17 digs.
The Terps notched all 18 of their first set points on kills as Maryland hit at a .293 clip. The Terrapins jumped out to a 6-3 lead before working ahead to an 11-8 advantage. The teams began trading points as the Boilers came back to tie, 14-14. An 8-1 Purdue run gave the visitors a 22-16 lead. Gaskin and Murray posted late kills but the Boilermakers won the set, 25-18.
Three blocks helped Maryland take a 5-4 lead in the second set before Purdue responded with a run to take an 8-7 advantage. The Boilermakers continued to lead through the middle of the set before a kill from Ashlyn MacGregor and a Milana service ace tied the set, 18-18. A pair of Purdue errors and a Gaskin kill put Maryland ahead, 22-20. Taylor Smith served an ace and Twilley tallied a kill as Maryland reached set point, 24-23. Purdue tied one last time, but a Boilermaker service error and a Milana kill ended the set, 26-24.
The Terps posted kills on their first five points of the third set. A run of Maryland errors helped Purdue work out to a 15-7 lead. The Terps worked to climb back in the set, pulling within three at 19-16. The Boilermakers finished the game on a 6-1 run to take a 25-17 set win and a 2-1 match lead.
Purdue started the fourth set with a 4-1 lead before the Terps went on a 3-0 run to tie it, 4-4. The Boilers reached a 12-8 advantage but a strong service run from Wicinski helped Maryland come back to tie again, 12-12. The teams played closely before kills from Murray and Twilley gave the Terps a 21-19 lead. Murray, Milana and Gaskin tallied kills as Maryland reached set point, 24-21. MacGregor knocked down a kill as the Terps won the set, 25-22, and pushed the match to five.
Two straight Boiler blocks gave the visiting team a 4-2 lead to start the final set. Kills from Milana and Gaskin and a service ace from Megan McTigue helped Maryland tie at 6-6, and a Murray kill gave the Terps the lead. The Boilermakers went on a 5-0 run to go ahead 11-7. Twilley tallied two kills, but Purdue was able to close the match with a 15-9 set win.
The Terps will compete in their final match of the season on Friday at 7 p.m. vs. Indiana. The match will be streamed live on BTN Plus. Prior to the game, Ashlyn MacGregor, Carlotta Oggioni and Whitney Craigo will be honored on Senior Day.