By Sununu Bah
Maryland volleyball swept all three games in the FGCU Classic and left the tournament with a six-game winning streak after taking down Florida Atlantic and Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday, in Fort Myers, Florida.
Maryland swept Florida Atlantic, 25-22, 25-17, 25-22, in Saturday’s 1 p.m. game, a matchup they entered well-rested after sitting out starter Sam Csire and resting and few others for a full set or two.
Cisre hit her 1,000 career kill in the third set of Maryland’s five-set thriller, 25-20, 25-16, 15-25, 17-25, 15-12 win against tournament host Florida Gulf Coast in the 7 p.m. game.
Maryland overcame an evening scare against Florida Gulf Coast that saw them squander a two-set lead.
Maryland began Saturday with a back-and-forth start, trading blows with the Owls through the first 10 points. Although an Eva Rohrbach shot and an Anastaisa Russ and Csire block assist gave Florida Atlantic kept the score right the entire set. An Owls 5-2 run gave them a 16-15 set lead, which was then followed by a Terps 3-0 run. Rohrbach ended the set with a kill.
Maryland established themselves in the second set, starting the set with an early 8-4 lead which they ballooned up to a 16-9 garnered on the heels of 6-2 run. Despite sitting slightly less efficient in the second set compared to the first, Maryland did not trail the entire set.
Maryland overcame three, three-point deficits in the third set with a 3-0 and two 4-1 runs. Maryland hit .308 in the game. This was the first time that Maryland had it over .300 in three consecutive matches with Adam Hughes as the head coach.
Maryland looked destined to sweep the entire FGCU Classic after taking the first two sets over Florida Gulf Coast. Florida Gulf Coast, on the other hand, had other plans, dashing ahead with a huge 9-3 lead on the hands of a trio of kills and block assists that set up a 7-0 run. The Eagles followed it up later in the set with an 8-2 run that gave them a 23-11 lead.
Maryland was unable to capitalize on a successful challenge from Adam Hughes that took away an Eagles kill. The challenge was followed by an attack error that tied the set at 16. The Terps weren’t able to capitalize on the call and error, however, and gave up a 9-1 run that allowed Florida Gulf Coast to tie the game at two apiece.
Maryland tips off their Big Ten matchups next weekend, opening on Friday with a matchup against No. 16 Purdue at the XFINITY Center Pavilion.