COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Maryland volleyball team surpassed its 2016 win total as the Terps swept Rutgers (25-18, 25-22, 25-17) Friday evening in the team’s Big Ten home opener.
The Terrapins moved to 13-4 while the team earned 12 wins a season ago. Maryland has 15 regular-season matches remaining in 2017.
“I think we played really young tonight, but were able to get points when it mattered,” head coach Steve Aird said. “Credit to Rutgers, they played hard and they did some nice things. It’s great to get a win on our home court, and we have another tough task tomorrow against Penn State.”
Sophomore outside hitter Gia Milana led the match with 10 kills and added seven digs and three solo blocks. Freshman outside Erika Pritchard had nine kills and a pair of service aces and freshman middle Jada Gardner finished with eight kills on a .600 clip and four blocks.
The Terps were down in each set but managed to work back to win all three. Attack errors from the Terrapins gave Rutgers an 8-4 lead in the first. Maryland went on a 10-3 run, including three kills from Milana, to take a 14-11 lead. Angel Gaskin had a pair of late kills, and Milana knocked down the game-winner, 25-18.
Rutgers started the second set with a 6-1 advantage, but scoring runs from Milana and Gardner tied the set, 16-16. Pritchard served two aces in three points to give Maryland a 20-17 lead. Scarlet Knight errors put the Terps at set point, and Milana again posted the winning kill, 25-22.
The teams stayed close to start the third before a 4-0 Maryland run put the home team ahead, 16-12. Rutgers errors helped the Terps increase their lead, and an ace from Snyder gave Maryland a 22-15 lead. Samantha Drechsel got the Terrapins to set point and Pritchard had the final kill, 25-17.
The Terps return to action Saturday against No. 3 Penn State. The match between the Terrapins and Nittany Lions will be played on the XFINITY Center main court.