Terp’s Volleyball Splits Saturday Matches, Jada Gardner Named MVP

Sophomore middle blocker Jada Gardner was named the MVP of the Wake Forest/UNCG Tournament as the Maryland volleyball team (2-1) split their two matches on Saturday, first defeating UNC Greensboro in straight sets (25-19, 25-19, 25-21), before dropping a five-set match to Air Force (25-21, 22-25, 21-25, 26-24, 12-15).

On the day, Gardner accumulated 26 kills to pace the Maryland offense, including a career-high 18 in the second game. Sophomore setter Nicole Alford set a career-high in assists in both matches, first with 38 in the first match before tallying 50 in the nightcap for a total of 86.

“I’m a little disappointed with how the weekend ended but also saw a lot of bright spots from some young players,” said head coach Adam Hughes. “We know we’ve got a long way to go and a lot of things we can get better at but we also had a lot of positives. We’ll get back to the gym this week and continue to get better.”

In addition to Gardner earning MVP honors, Alford and redshirt sophomore Katie Myers were also named to the All-Tournament Team.

On the weekend, Gardner totaled 38 kills at a .326 percentage to go with 18 digs and seven blocks.


Sophomore outside hitter Erika Pritchard and freshman middle blocker Rainelle Jones combined for 31 kills while sophomore setter Nicole Alford tallied a then career-high 38 assists as the Terps ran past UNC Greensboro in straight sets (25-19, 25-19, 25-21) on Saturday morning.

Maryland as a team hit at a .318 clip in the match to UNC Greensboro’s .149 percentage, including a .424 mark in the third set. The middle blocker duo of redshirt sophomore Katie Myers and Jones hit especially well, with Myers at .833 and Jones at .500. Jones, in addition to her 14 kills, had a team-best three blocks.

The Terps finished strong in the first set. With the frame tied at 17, Maryland used an 8-2 run to finish the set and go up 1-0. Jones had three kills in the final run, while Maryland also used kills from senior outside hitter Liz Twilley and sophomore middle blocker Jada Gardner.

In the second set, Pritchard and Jones continued to dominate with six and five kills respectively. Maryland used another late run to pull away, winning 14 of the last 22 set points. As it would be in the third, the set was finished off with a Pritchard kill off an Alford assist.

Maryland took advantage of a strong team attack in the third set, hitting at a .424 percentage, its best in the young season. Jones, Myers and Twilley all hit at 1.000. Gardner turned it on at the end of the set, notching three kills in a row to push the Maryland advantage from 21-19 to 24-20. Alford totaled 14 assists to go with four digs in the set while freshman libero Allegra Rivas also had four digs, 15 in the match.


Sophomore middle blocker Jada Gardner had a career-best 18 kills, while sophomore setter Nicole Alford broke her career-best from just five hours earlier with 50 assists as the Terps fell in five sets to Air Force (25-21, 22-25, 21-25, 26-24, 12-15) on Saturday evening.

Alford and sophomore outside hitter Erika Pritchard each posted a double-double. Alford had with 50 assists and 12 digs, while Pritchard tallied 16 kills and 10 digs. Alford’s 50 assists are the most for a Terp since teammate Taylor Smith had 52 as a freshman on September 16, 2016.

The Terps started out strong, commanding the first set, leading the whole way thanks to eight kills by Pritchard and 20 team digs, led by six by freshman libero Allegra Rivas. Maryland had its biggest lead at 22-15 before ultimately winning the set, 25-21.

Air Force took the second and third set as Maryland dropped their first two sets of the season. The Terps had just 22 combined kills in those two sets.

Maryland responded strong in the fourth set, led by Gardner and senior outside hitter Liz Twilley combining for eight kills, including several as Air Force made a push towards the end. With the score even at 24, Maryland used an Air Force service error and senior middle blocker Katie Myers ace to take the set, 26-24 and even the match.

In the fifth set, Air Force led throughout, with Maryland cutting it to one at 9-8 and 11-10. The Falcons won four out of the last six points to take the match and hand the Terps their first loss of the season.


Next weekend, Maryland will travel to Akron, Ohio for the Akron Tournament, where the Terps will take on Akron on Friday, August 31, and Stony Brook and Canisus on Saturday, September 1.

-Via Maryland Athletics 

Categories: Navy

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: