Nov. 22, 1997
Maryland Advances at ACC Tournament
RALEIGH, N.C. - The Maryland Terrapins women's volleyball team handily defeated No. 8 seed North Carolina State in the first round of the 1997 Atlantic Coast Conference Volleyball tournament by scores of 16-14,15-2 and 17-15. The win came from solid play and was expected as the Terrapins were the No. 1 seed heading into the tournament. Of course, as head coach Janice Kruger pointed out, a wining team never takes any opponent for granted.
"I wasn't surprised by what I saw from N.C. State today because they have played us tough before. They have a very strong defense and it took us a while to figure out how to put the ball down. They work on that quite a bit and it's definitely one of the strong points of their game," said Kruger after the match. "They also serve very well and they tend to pass well in this arena which also makes them very tough. They can be out to the side and still put the ball on target."
The Terrapins relied on the always solid setting skills of Eden Kroger who posted an impressive 52 assists on the match. Kroger found the groove with Maryland hitters Elizabeth Efron (16 kills), Jamie Summers (13 kills) and Kimberly Adolphs (12 kills). Adolphs and Efron were especially hot with 48 and 40 attempts respectively. The double digit hitting helped power the Terrapins to the match win and a spot in the second round of the ACC tournament.
"I think we all saw the difference between a 26-0 team like Maryland and a team like ours with three freshman on the floor," said Wolfpack coach, Kim Hall. "Maryland is a team that doesn't know how to lose. Even when they are on the ropes, they stay aggressive and find ways to get it done."
Defensively Maryland was dead on with impressive dig counts from a variety of players including Adolphs (20 digs) Efron (17), Summers (16) and Kroger (15). The win pushes the Terrapins' record to 26-0 and N.C. State now sits at 12-23. Maryland remains undefeated on the season and in the tournament which coach Kruger credits to focussed play.
"The thing we've been stressing is that we have to continue to do what we've done all year. In this tournament, we look at it as playing three different teams and we have to beat them one time. We are now 1-0 and we have to continue to play well the next three days in a row."
And while Kruger was pleased with the outcome of the first round, she would prefer her Terrapin squad to play with improved focus as they head into round two. "I'm happy that we won in three, but I thought there could have been more intensity. We didn't quite attack in the fashion that I like to use against defense that strong."
The Wolfpack managed to push two games, the first and third, to extra points but it wasn't enough to stop the steam rolling Lady Terrapins. Regardless, Coach Hall said she was satisfied with the performance her Wolfpack squad put forth.
"I was really pleased with our effort. We played a great first game, and didn't fold after dropping the first two. We fought really hard in the third game. Maryland had match point and we still came back and played really solid. I was very pleased that after the second game we didn't just die."