Gillming Sets Games-Played Record in Victory Against Hokies
Nov. 17, 2007
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Maryland senior outside hitter Beth Gillming (Cincinnati, Ohio) set a new program record for career games played and the Terrapins celebrated the occasion with a convincing four-game (30-21, 28-30, 30-25, 30-25) victory against the visiting Virginia Tech Hokies Saturday evening at Comcast Pavilion.
Gillming entered Saturday's match having played in 776 career games, three behind former teammate Stephanie Smith, and a Virginia Tech (13-17, 7-13) victory in game two tied the match at one apiece and assured that a fourth game would be necessary, allowing Gillming to set the record.
"It's a great accomplishment," said Gillming after the match. "I'm really thankful for all my coaches and teammates. I never thought I would play in that many games, but I'm glad I did. I'm just proud to leave this program with that [record]."
Gillming might not have anticipated playing in as many games as she did, but Maryland head coach Janice Kruger knew she had someone special early on.
"The thing I always remember about Beth is in her freshman year setting the ACC Tournament digs record, which might stand forever, since there is no tournament now," Kruger said. "With her play at that particular time, I knew we had somebody gifted who would be a very valuable asset to this program not only as a volleyball player but as a person."
Gillming recorded 87 digs in the 2004 ACC Tournament to set the record.
The Terps (17-12, 9-11) dominated the opening game, opening up a 12-4 lead and never leading by less than five the rest of the way. Gillming led the way with four kills in the session and Maryland out-hit Tech .250- -.023.
Game two was going Maryland's way, as well, when senior Jade Brown (Atlanta, Ga.) and sophomore Katie Usher (Vienna, Va.) combined on a block to put the Terps up 23-17. Maryland was two points away from victory at 28-26, but Tech scored the game's final four points to secure the come-from-behind win and the Terps had to regroup during the break.
Whatever momentum the Hokies may have gained in the game-two win, it didn't carry over to the third frame. The Terps scored the first six points of the game on the serve of junior setter Tedi Doucet (Austin, Texas). Maryland went up 11 at 17-8, but Tech answered again, creeping as close as four at 27-23, but two Mary Beth Brown (Vienna, Va.) kills put an end to any comeback hopes and the Terps went up 2-1 in the match. Jade Brown and freshman Michelle Kenning (Cincinnati, Ohio) each had six kills in the game while Mary Beth Brown added five.
Maryland went up 11-6 in the fourth game, but another Tech rally put it ahead 21-20. Fortunately, the Terps kept their cool and finished the game on a 10-4 run, punctuated by a match-clinching Jade Brown kill.
After hitting .609 with no attack errors the night before against Virginia, Kenning was dominant against the Hokies, as well, registering 14 kills on .448 hitting.
With the match tied in the middle of the fourth game, Kenning notched a memorable kill, smashing the ball off the face of Virginia Tech defensive specialist Jill Gergen. Kenning wasn't so much impressed with the way the kill occurred, but more so the lift it gave the team.
"I was really hungry on the balls Tedi [Doucet] was setting me and I really wanted to slam one hard. I didn't mean to hit her in the face, but it gave us momentum in the game and I was happy to get my team excited," Kenning said.
Kenning finished with 14 kills, tying a season high and her 15 digs was one short of a season high.
Jade Brown led the Terps with 17 kills and also posted five blocks. Mary Beth Brown had 12 kills and five blocks, as well. Gillming finished with nine kills and 16 digs. Usher was a force at the net, notching eight kills and eight blocks. Doucet led the team with 33 assists and junior libero Maggie Schmelzle (Cincinnati, Ohio) led the Terps with 28 digs.
Maryland recorded 84 digs as a team in its annual "Dig for the Cure" match, where people pledge money either with a flat fee or per dig to raise money for breast cancer research.
The Terps will put a wrap on the 2007 season next week with matches against ACC heavyweights Clemson and Georgia Tech. Clemson, which has clinched the ACC regular-season title and an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament, comes to College Park 5 p.m. Wednesday and Georgia Tech visits at 2 p.m. Friday.