Terrapins go 2-1 in their second straight road tournament

By: Nolan DeMott

The University of Maryland (UMD) Terrapins continued tournament play over the weekend in the Georgetown Classic, finding themselves in some of the most dramatic matches all season. In fact, the Terps, 5-1 coming in, had to endure two five-set battles in the span of only a couple of days.

In the team’s first match on Friday night, the Terps faced off against Princeton, a team that had only played four matches coming in. Maryland came out of the gate a bit slow but caught on fire near the middle of the opening set, winning it 25-12. Set two, however was a different story. The Terps went from winning 75% of their side-out opportunities in the first set to only 47% in the second, resulting in a 25-21 set two defeat. UMD did manage to turn it around in set three, however, nearly matching their play in the first and setting themselves up to finish the match in four. In fact, they had a 19-16 lead in the fourth set but could not close the deal, losing 25-23. It all came down to the final set, where Maryland was able to escape victorious by only the narrowest of margins, winning the final five points to steal the decisive set 15-13. It was a great demonstration of resilience from a Terps team that has struggled to close but has succeeded when coming from behind.

Match number two of the weekend did not lack drama either as Maryland fell behind two sets to none to Towson but clawed their way back to force another exciting fifth set finish. Towson had been 8-1 coming in, but the Terps were on the verge of coming back from two sets down. Once again, the Terrapins held a slight 13-12 edge in the final set but could not finish it off, dropping the final three points to lose in heartbreaking fashion.

There was no time to lament the loss, though, as, four hours later, the Terps would have to face off against the host team, Georgetown. Despite being 2-6 and having lost the first two matches of the tournament, Georgetown battled UMD deep into every set, coming two points away from taking set one. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the pressure became too much to handle as Maryland pulled away at the end of each set, winning in straights (25-23, 25-18, 25-22).

After nine games, it is becoming clear which players the Terrapins will be relying on for certain responsibilities. Freshman Gia Milana has been consistently the leader in kills on the Maryland squad, leading the team in kills in every game but one (vs. Georgetown) thus far. Ashlyn MacGregor, the senior from Tarpon Springs, Florida, put together an impressive weekend, compiling 26 kills with only two errors. And Kelsey Wicinski, the team captain, has been recording an average of five digs per set, a trend that, once again, held true over the weekend. Moving forward, look out for how these roles shift (if at all) as the Terrapins continue striving to move up the ranks.

Following another 2-1 weekend, the Terrapins are now 7-2 and have one more upcoming tournament at the University of Southern California. After three games out west, the Terps then play three more in the mid-west before finally returning home in early October.