Offensive Onslaught Leads Terps Past Tigers
Sept. 21, 2012
CLEMSON, S.C. - Junior Mary Cushman and sophomore Ashleigh Crutcher combined for 25 kills to lead the Maryland volleyball team (9-4, 1-1 ACC) to a 3-0 (25-13, 25-23, 25-20) victory over Clemson Friday night at Jervey Gymnasium.
As a team, the Terps converted 29.9 percent of its attack opportunities led by Cushman's match-high 13 kills, 12 kills from Crutcher and 10 kills from freshman Kamrin Gold. Cushman finished with a double-double as she also added 10 digs.
The Terps broke open the first set with an efficient attack and stingy defense. Maryland converted 31.2 percent of its attack opportunities while holding Clemson to a -.065 hitting percentage in the opening set. With the set tied at 6-6, the Terps notched three blocks as part of a 5-0 Terrapin run to regain the lead and extend it to 10-6.
Following a timeout by the Tigers, Cushman knocked down a kill to increase Maryland's lead to five. The Tigers would not get any closer as Maryland went on to win the set 25-13. Cushman and Gold each had four kills in the first set, while Elliott had three blocks.
The second set was an entirely different affair as it featured 14 ties and six lead changes. Again Maryland's offense was operating at a high level as the squad hit .386 in the second frame, but Clemson matched the Terps' efficiency hitting .300. Cushman led the Terps in kills once again finishing the set with six. Crutcher added five and Harper came up with several impressive digs to help Maryland win the set.
After the Tigers took the lead at 16-15, Crutcher tied the match with her third kill of the set. Following a Clemson attacking error, senior Remy McBain set up Crutcher for a cross-court kill to stake the Terps to a two point lead. Crutcher and senior Caitlin Adams would combine for a block on the next point forcing the Tigers to quickly call a timeout.
The Terps seized the momentum following the timeout. Crutcher tallied back-to-back kills and after an attacking error by Clemson the Terps suddenly led 21-15. After another Tiger timeout, the Terps earned set point behind kills from Adams and Crutcher. Facing a 2-0 deficit, Clemson rattled off five consecutive points, but Maryland ended the Tiger rally as Elliott drilled a shot down the middle to end the set.
Maryland took a 10-6 lead early in the third set, but saw Clemson scratch back and tie the match at 10-10. Adams knocked down a kill to spark a 6-1 Maryland run to seize control. During the run, Elliott paired with Crutcher for the seventh Maryland block of the match and then followed it with a solo block to force a Clemson timeout.
After the timeout, Gold went down the line to keep the pressure on the Tigers and increased the lead to 15-11. Consecutive Terrapin errors cut the lead to one point at 18-17, but Elliott answered with a kill down the middle to end the Clemson run.
The Tigers did not help themselves down the stretch as they committed two service errors to help the Terps increase their lead to four points at 22-19. On the next point, Gold went cross court and combined on a block with Adams two points later to give Maryland match point. The Terps left no doubt as McBain set Elliott high and the sophomore drilled it down the middle to close out the match.Maryland wraps up its first conference road trip of the season in Atlanta against Georgia Tech on Sunday. First serve is scheduled for 2 p.m. at O'Keefe Gymnasium.