COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Standing alone at center court with tears in her eyes, senior Sarah Harper waved to the crowd amid a standing ovation. The scene was fitting, as Harper now stands alone as the program’s all-time digs leader, breaking Nicole Lantagne’s 21-year-old record with her 14th dig in the third set.
The record put a bow on a storybook Senior Day celebration for Harper and fellow seniors Mary Cushman and Carlisle Abele, as the Maryland volleyball team (13-13, 5-9 ACC) dominated Wake Forest, 3-0, Sunday afternoon at Comcast Pavilion.
“That was really overwhelming -- I didn’t think I was going to get emotional,” Harper said. “I have the best teammates and family and friends and fans that come and support the team. I didn’t realize so many people cared so much and I’ve never had a feeling like that before. It was a dream come true and beyond because I hadn’t even imagined this and I’m so happy.”
Head coach Tim Horsmon presented Harper with a personalized Maryland shovel in honor of the digs record following the match.
“Sarah is relentless in practice every day and that’s why I think she’s become a great player and a great leader in our program,” Horsmon said.
Abele has been sidelined to injury all season, but Cushman stepped up alongside Harper (16 digs) to the tune of 10 kills with a .350 hitting percentage. Ashleigh Crutcher led all players with 12 kills and freshman Ashlyn MacGregor posted eight blocks at the net.
Playing with heightened emotions on Senior Day, the Terrapins set the tone from the outset by jumping on Wake Forest (15-11, 4-10 ACC) early for a 4-1 lead. Adreene Elliott had four kills in the set, as Dani Bozzini fired an ace to close the frame, 25-18.
The Terps nearly let a 23-19 lead slip in the second set, but Kelsey Hrebenach notched an emphatic kill to give the hosts a 2-0 match lead. The third set was much of the same for Maryland, as it took care of business amidst the emotions of Harper’s record-breaking dig.
Maryland hit .260 in the match with 13 blocks, while holding the Demon Deacons to a mere .069 hitting percentage. Kristin Grissom led Wake with nine kills.
The Terrapins will look to carry momentum from the victory to Chestnut Hill, Mass. as they take on Boston College Friday at 7:00 p.m.