1995 In Review
There is a fine line that separates mediocrity from excellence. The Maryland volleyball team crossed that line in 1995. It was a season of rapid maturity which culminated in a 22-10 overall record, including a perfect 12-0 mark at home, a 10-4 mark in Atlantic Coast Conference play, and the school's second appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
After losing only one starter from the 18-13 squad in 1994, the Terrapins began the season at the George Washington tournament, where they posted a 1-3 record. After losing three straight to Akron, George Washington and Pittsburgh, respectively, Maryland collected its first win of the 1995 season--a 3-1 win over Portland.
Senior middle hitter Sherry Smith was named to the all-tournament team after putting down 60 kills while collecting 66 digs.
The Terrapins began their 1995 home slate playing host to Connecticut, Villanova and William & Mary in the Maryland Invitational. The Terps rolled off three straight wins en route to being crowned tournament champions.
Three Terrapins, Sherry Smith, Daune Koester and Moneach Surber, were named to the all-tournament team. Following a 3-0 win over Georgetown which ran Maryland's record to 5-3, the Terrapins ventured west for the Michigan State Volleyball Classic. The Terps finished second behind host Michigan State, and junior Elizabeth Efron was named to the all-tournament team. Maryland went 2-1, including a come-from-behind victory against South Carolina.
The Terps' other victory came against Cleveland State (3-1) while Michigan State easily handled Maryland in three games. Efron finished the tournament with 35 kills.
Maryland opened Atlantic Coast Conference play on the road against Duke and N.C. State. The Terps' saw their five-match win streak end at the hands of the Blue Devils. Duke outlasted the Terrapins in five games. However, Maryland bounced back the following evening, defeating N.C. State in four games. A 3-1 win over then-No. 22-ranked Georgia Tech marked the Terrapins' fifth home victory. Two straight wins over Clemson and Virginia, respectively, improved Maryland's record to 4-1 in the ACC and a share of the conference lead. October began with a winning streak being broken.
October ended with a Maryland run which saw the Terrapins win 21 consecutive games, five matches by a 3-0 count and put together a season-best eight-match winning streak. In fact, Maryland did not lose another game until the championship match of the ACC tournament when the Terps lost to Georgia Tech in three games.
Terrapin head coach Janice Kruger collected her 500th career victory with a 3-0 win over Florida State, while the Terps closed out their home season undefeated. At the ACC championship, the Terrapins disposed of Duke and Florida State in three games, then lost to No. 20-ranked Georgia Tech (0-3) in the championship match.
Maryland placed two players on the all-tournament team, Smith and junior middle hitter Shannon Saltzman.
Maryland received its first NCAA bid since 1990 and earned the right to host Miami (Ohio) in first-round action. At stake was a chance to earn the school's first second-round appearance, and also the Terrapins' eleven-match home winning streak.
The Terps made history, defeating Miami in three straight games, and earning the school's first NCAA second-round appearance. The Terrapins were not as fortunate in the second round where they ran into a veteran Ohio State team. The Terps won the first game but the Buckeyes came back to win the next three. But even the early exit from the NCAA tournament could not overshadow what was one of the most prolific seasons in Maryland volleyball history.
Sherry Smith was named to the ACC All-Tournament team, the Maryland Invitational All-Tournament team and the George Washington All-Tournament team in 1995.