By Krista Bliumentalis
Momentum from the Maryland Terrapins (9-14, 2-10 Big Ten) first Big Ten wins against Rutgers seemed to carry into their match against the No. 14 Nebraska Huskers (14-7, 8-4) Saturday evening. But, despite the energy from the packed gym and strong play from the Terps, they ultimately fell to the Huskers in three matches, (23-25, 22-25, 16-25).
Maryland opened the game with an exciting first set that went back and forth between them and Nebraska. While struggling to win the first few points, Ashleigh Crutcher made two kills to help put the Terps back on their feet and carried energy into the rest of the set.
Twelve ties were recorded within the first set along with six lead changes. The teams were tied 22-22 but ultimately offensive errors gave the Huskers the advantage when Kadie Rolfzen made the kill that won the first set, 23-25.
Crutcher then helped the Terps gain an early lead in the second set by making two kills, giving them a 5-1 lead. But the Huskers quickly came back making multiple blocks and capitalizing on offensive errors by the Terps to bring the score to 8-8.
After battling back and forth and bringing the score to 21-22, Maryland called a time out to strategize how to win the second set. Attack errors made by the Terps allowed the Huskers to take the second set, 22-25.
Crutcher led the Terps in kills for the fourth straight match in a row. After the second set, she had already made nine of her 12 kills.
After the intermission, Nebraska dominated the third set by pulling ahead with a 9-4 lead against the Terps. Emily Fraik and Crutcher each contributed three kills to try and put the Terps in a better position to win the set.
Sophomore setter Carlotta Oggioni helped the Terps rally back to bring the game to 9-14. Oggioni ended the game with 18 assists and seven digs.
Once again, attack errors let Nebraska take the third set 16-25 after three straight kills from the Huskers.
With the loss, the Terps are now 2-10 in the Big Ten Conference. The Terps will now hit the road for the next four games and will face No. 17 Ohio State and No. 6 Penn State over the weekend.