Volleyball Triumphs in ACC Opener at Boston College
Sept. 22, 2009
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - The University of Maryland volleyball team began league play with a bang, winning in four sets at Boston College Tuesday afternoon to improve to 9-5 and 1-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Senior middle blocker Katie Usher continued her strong senior season, posting a season-high 16 kills on .419 hitting to lead Maryland to the 3-1 win. The Terps took the match by scores of 25-17, 28-26, 12-25 and 25-21.
Maryland set the tone of the match early in the first set, taking an early 12-5 lead thanks to an 8-2 run. Back-to-back service aces from freshman Sam Rosario, the ACC's leader in aces, jumpstarted the big run. When Sharon Strizak recorded back-to-back kills, Maryland had a nine-point lead at 15-6 and never led by less than five the rest of the set. Up 20-15, the Terps scored five of the next seven points to clinch the set.
The Terps' offense was extremely efficient in the first-set victory, hitting .441.
As easy as the opening set was for Maryland, the second set was anything but. The second stanza featured 13 ties and seven lead changes and neither side led by more than three points at any time.
The biggest lead of the set came with Maryland leading 12-9 and Boston College (10-2, 0-1 ACC) forced to call timeout. The Eagles fought back to take the lead at 16-15, but the Terps then rebounded and held two set points at 24-22.
Maryland couldn't notch the set-clinching point, though. An Eagles' kill, followed by a bad Maryland set and an Eagles block, gave Boston College a set point of its own at 25-24.
Head coach Tim Horsmon called a timeout to regroup and freshman Kara Bates kept Maryland alive with a kill on the ensuing point. The Terps and Eagles split the next two points to tie the score at 26 and the Eagles finally blinked, as Usher and Maddi Lee hammered home back-to-back kills to give the Terps a 28-26 win and a 2-0 lead heading into the break.
With the score tied at 8 apiece in the third set, the Eagles avoided the sweep, going on a 15-2 run en route to a 25-12 victory to force a fourth set.
The crucial fourth set was a back-and-forth contest, as the Eagles tried to even the score and the Terps wanted to avoid a fifth set. The score was tied 10 times and the lead switched hands on seven occasions.
Both teams grabbed leads of two, only to see the other fight back to re-take the lead. A Brittney Grove kill gave Maryland a three-point lead, 15-12, but the Eagles notched six of the next seven points to take an 18-16 lead and force Horsmon to call timeout.
Horsmon's adjustments worked and Maryland settled down to take five of the next six points and take a 22-19 lead, just three points away from a big early-season win.
With a 24-21 lead, Usher fittingly secured the victory for the Terps on a kill from freshman setter Taylor Jones.
The victory was Maryland's third conference road win in the last three seasons after not winning on the road in conference play a year ago.
Sophomore Lisa Scott gave the Terps a strong performance in the middle, complementing Usher with a career-high 13 kills to go with a team-best four blocks. Grove and Lee pitched in with nine kills each. Grove and Bethany Springer paced the back-row defenders with 13 digs apiece, while Roasario finished with 11. Jones continued to see most of the setting duties, leading the Terps with 42 assists.
Taylor Williams led Boston College with 12 kills.
Maryland is back home this weekend, where it will play Duke and Wake Forest on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
- TERPS -