By: Sununu Bah
The Maryland Terrapins (8-9, 0-5) was in search of their first Big 10 win of the season against the Michigan State Spartans (14-3, 3-2) in the second matchup of their back-to-back weekend games in Michigan. The Terrapins were coming off a four set loss to the Michigan Wolverines, and have lost their previous four matches. Tonight’s matchup held the same results, as the Terrapins suffered another four set loss (16-25, 25-22, 20-25, 17-25).
The Spartans were in complete control of the first set, featuring three series of three-plus point runs. They closed off the first set with a 25-16 win. Terrapins freshman Gia Milana led the Terrapins with four kills in the first set while fellow freshman Taylor Smith dished seven assists and Nell Drummey had three digs. The Terrapins showed some grit and were able to keep things close in the second set with four lead changes in favor of the Terrapins. Milana had the set clincher with a back corner. Michigan State came back strong with a momentum swinging 25-20 third set win. The fourth set was close until the Spartans pulled away from 16-13 deficit to clinch the set 25-17.
Milana kept up her dominating performance by leading the match with a career and game high 21 kills. Smith finished the night with 35 assists and added six digs and three service aces. On the defensive side, junior middle blocker Hailey Murray led the team with three blocks.
The Terrapins have lost seven of their last eight games in large part to their brutal schedule this past month, facing seven top 25 teams and three top five teams in the nation. The Terrapins next match will be at home against Iowa Hawkeyes, who are on a four game winning streak but 1-3 on the road.