Terps Have Memorable Senior Day, Defeat Georgia Tech in Five Games
Nov. 23, 2007
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Terrapins picked a good day to play arguably its best volleyball of the season. Senior outside hitters Beth Gillming (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Jade Brown (Atlanta, Ga.)combined for 34 kills and their teammates backed them up, ousting the visiting Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in five games on Senior Day.
The Terps (18-13, 10-12) won by scores of 23-30, 30-25, 30-19, 29-31, 15-9 against a Yellow Jackets team that came in red hot, winning 11 of their previous 12 matches. Georgia Tech (22-10, 16-6) entered the match with hopes of making the NCAA Tournament. However, Maryland's victory might have ended those dreams.
Perhaps due to the emotional pre-game ceremonies for Gillming and Brown, the Terps started slow in game No. 1. The Yellow Jackets grabbed a 10-3 lead and held off a Terp rally that cut the lead to two to take the game.
Game two went back and forth most of the way. With the game tied at 22 apiece, however, the Terps embarked on a game-clinching 10-3 run, highlighted by three Brown kills.
Maryland quickly fell behind 3-0 in the third frame, but the Terps answered with a 12-3 run to go up by six. Sophomore middle blocker Katie Usher (Vienna, Va.) had three consecutive kills at one point during that key run. The Yellow Jackets never got closer than four the rest of the way.
Game No. 4 was much like the second game, only closer. Neither team led by more than one point until Georgia Tech went up two at 18-16. The Yellow Jackets built the lead up to four at 26-22 before a 6-2 Terps run tied things up at 28. With the game knotted at 29, however, Tech's Lindsey Gray recorded consecutive kills to force a fifth and decisive game.
The two teams split the first eight points of game five, but then the Terps took charge with a 5-0 run to go up 9-4. Ironically, it was the Terps' freshman class that saved Senior Day in the end. Freshmen Michelle Kenning (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Brittney Grove (Glen Allen, Va.) combined to record Maryland's last four kills, including the clincher from Grove that sent the Terps' bench running to center court to celebrate the victory.
Maryland coach Janice Kruger went deeper into her bench than usual, playing 12 of the 16 players on her roster.
Five Terps either tied or set new season highs in the match. Brown's 20 kills matched her season high and tied for the most by any Terp in a match this season. Grove's 14 kills were also a season high while junior setter Tedi Doucet set two career highs with 58 assists and three blocks. Sophomore Christina Paul set career highs with two kills and 11 digs and junior libero Maggie Schmelzle posted a season high in digs with 32.
Brown added five blocks in her final career match while Gillming went out with 14 kills and 21 digs.
Additionally, the Terps set season team highs in kills (80) and assists (72).