COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Freshman outside hitter Erika Pritchard led four Terps in double-digits as the Maryland volleyball team (16-8, 5-7 B1G) upset No. 17 Purdue (17-6, 7-5) in five sets (25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 25-27, 17-15) on Sunday afternoon in the Pavilion.
“This is a big win for the program, and I’m proud of the team for continuing to fight,” head coach Steve Aird said. “Purdue has a veteran staff and they have some excellent talent. We know how good they are, and I love that this team fought and played hard to get the win.”
The win is Maryland’s first-ever over Purdue. The Terps have reached 16 wins this season for the first time since 2010, which is also the most wins in a season for Aird as a head coach.
Maryland went up 1-0 and 2-1 in the match and had to fight back from a deficit in the fifth set to take the match.
The Terps went ahead in the first set before a 4-0 Purdue run put the visitors ahead, 9-8. The teams traded points before kills from Gaskin and Drechsel gave Maryland an 18-15 lead. Milana had a service ace and a kill to help the Terrapins reach set point, 24-21. After two Boiler points, a Purdue ball handling error finished the game in favor of the Terps, 25-23.
The second set was an offensive show as both teams hit over .450. Purdue went ahead 11-6 and increased its lead to 16-11. A pair of kills from Gaskin helped Maryland cut the lead to one and force a Purdue timeout, 20-19. Drechsel notched a pair of late kills, and with the Boilermakers at set point, Pritchard extended the game with a kill. Purdue was able to close the set, 25-23.
Hailey Murray had six kills on 1.000 hitting as the Terps hit .500 with 19 kills in the third. Maryland had five kills to go up 5-2, and a pair of aces from Samantha Burgio helped the Terrapins to a 13-6 lead. The Boilers inched closer, a Drechsel kill helped Maryland reach set point. After a Purdue kill, a service error gave the Terps a 25-21 win.
The teams traded points in the fourth and Maryland was able to take a 23-22 lead. A block put Purdue at set point, 24-23, forcing a Terp timeout. Pritchard had one final kill for the Terrapins and the teams tied again, 25-25. Two straight points made the Boilers win the set, 27-25, to tie the match.
Purdue took a quick 6-2 advantage in the final set. Gaskin had a pair of kills but the Boilers were able to go ahead, 11-7. Three straight kills and a Drechsel-Murray block tied the set, 11-11. Purdue reached match point on a Maryland error, 14-13, but a service error and a Pritchard kill put the Terps at match point, 15-14. The teams tied again, but strong serving from Abigail Bentz helped Maryland get overpass kills from Pritchard and Gardner to win the game, 17-15.
The Terps held Danielle Cuttino, who came into the match averaging 4.10 kills per set, to just 10 kills in the match.
The Terps move into the toughest stretch of their season as they go on the road at No. 5 Minnesota, No. 9 Wisconsin, No. 7 Nebraska and No. 1 Penn State over the next two weeks.