Dowler assists her way into Maryland history books in volleyball’s win against Utah Valley

Courtesy of Maryland Athletics

Sydney Dowler tossed her 45th assist to Sam Csire in the fourth set, a vital assist not because it helped Maryland volleyball secure its third straight win down the stretch against Utah Valley. It was vital because it put Dowler in Maryland’s history book. 

Dowler became Maryland’s sixth player to ever reach 2,500 career assists. Dowler started off the match with 12 assists in the first set. Dowler was just one dig short of a double-double in her historic night, picking up nine digs and tying for a team-leading five blocks. Dowler has had 30 assists in all of the team’s first five games. 

While Dowler helped Maryland (4-1) swat down Utah Valley (1-5), the Terps served Utah Valley more than they could handle in the third. Maryland rained down seven aces in the third set alone, finishing the day with 11. 

Sam Schnitta turned over the first ace early in the third stanza while delivering her fifth straight serve. Sam Csire followed suit and dropped three straight aces to give the Terps a 12-4 lead. Erin Engel provided two more aces midway through the set and Dowler rained down the final ace of the set giving the Terps a 20-6 lead. The Terps won the third set 25-8. Maryland hit .765 from the field with 13 kills and 17 assists. 

Maryland did not start the game with the same level of focus that they displayed in the third stanza. The Terps started the first set of the game down 14-21. Two attack errors by Utah Valley’s Hailey Cuff and a kill by Anastasia Russ brought Maryland within four points. But a kill by Kendra Nock and costly attack errors by Samantha Schnitta and Sam Csire gave Utah Valley a seven-point lead that Maryland could not recover from. 

Csire tied a career-high with five service aces, a mark she reached for the second time this season. Csire joined Schnitta, Laila Ivey, Eva Rohrbach with double-digit kills on the day, Csire’s 16 kills put her 57 kills short of reaching 1,000 career kills. 

Maryland will close out the Kristen Dickman Invitational 2 p.m. Sunday against tournament host Navy. The matchup will be available to stream on ESPN+.