Terps Win Thunder Invite, Move to 9-0

Maryland Athletics
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HUNTINGTON, W. Va. – Freshman outside hitter Erika Pritchard knocked down 14 kills on a .417 clip as the Maryland volleyball team (9-0) swept Marshall (3-7) in the final match of the Thunder Invite Saturday evening (25-18, 25-14, 25-12).

“Marshall is well coached and will have a good season,” head coach Steve Aird said. “Our focus was to win three matches this weekend, and we did so. We have a tough week ahead of us with three quality teams coming to campus. I’m proud of our program and the strides our young players have made, and we’re excited to get back in the gym.”

The Terps return to College Park to host the Maryland Challenge this week. The Terrapins will compete against No. 8 Washington, No. 19 Southern California and Oklahoma on the XFINITY Center main court. 

Pritchard and senior middle blocker Hailey Murray were named to the all-tournament team while sophomore outside hitter Gia Milana was selected as the tournament MVP. 

The Terps hit .400 in the match while holding the Herd to a .093 clip.

Maryland took control from the opening whistle as the Terrapins built a 10-6 lead in the first set. Sophomore setter Samantha Snyder had a good run from the serving line to help Maryland go ahead, 15-9. Junior opposite Angel Gaskin had back-to-back kills to force a Marshall timeout at 18-11. Freshman opposite Samantha Drechsel posted two straight kills to get the Terps to set point, 24-17, and Pritchard knocked down the game-winner at 25-18.

The Terps hit .591 in the second set with just one error to take a quick 2-0 lead in the match. A Murray-Drechsel block and Myers-Pritchard block pushed Maryland to an 11-5 lead. A serving run from junior libero Kelsey Wicinski helped the Terps put together a 7-0 run, and Pritchard and Milana notched kills to put Maryland ahead 20-9. Pritchard tallied Maryland’s final two kills of the set to win 25-14.

Tied early in the third set, sophomore setter Taylor Smith served an ace to help the Terps pull ahead, 6-3. Maryland went on a 5-0 run to push to 11-7. Pritchard posted three service aces late in the set to put the Terps at 20-10. Murray and Milana combined for two straight blocks to put Maryland at match point, and Milana finished the match with a kill, 25-12.

Wicinski is currently at 999 career digs. She can become the 11th Terp in program history to reach the 1,000-dig milestone with just one more.