After a 2-1 opening weekend in North Carolina, the Maryland volleyball team will return to the court this weekend in Ohio for the Akron Invitational, where the Terps play three matches against Akron, Stony Brook and Canisus.
• Adam Hughes began his tenure at the helm of Maryland volleyball last weekend at Wake Forest and UNC Greensboro, going 2-1 with straight-set wins over Wake Forest and UNC Greensboro and a five-set loss to Air Force.
• The Terps were led by Wake Forest/UNCG Tournament MVP Jada Gardner last weekend, who totaled 38 kills at a .326 percentage. The sophomore middle blocker set a career-best in kills against Air Force with 18, while also totaling 18 blocks and seven digs. Sophomore setter Nicole Alford and redshirt sophomore middle blocker Katie Myers were also named to the All-Tournament team.
• Maryland dominated at the net last weekend, posting a team .263 hitting percentage while winning that battle in all three games. The Terps had more kills on less attempts than their opponents while committing 21 less errors and averaged 13.18 kills per set over the weekend. Maryland’s hitting percentage is the fourth highest in the Big Ten, trailing only Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue.
GET TO KNOW THE TEAM
• The Terps boast a squad of 15 athletes for the 2018 season, 10 returners and five newcomers. The returners are led by a trio of sophomores: Erika Pritchard, Jada Gardner and redshirt sophomore Katie Myers.
• The Terrapins welcome five new faces to the 2018 team: sophomore transfers Nicole Alford and Hailey Rubino and freshmen Rainelle Jones, Allegra Rivas and Emma Schriner.
• Alford, Jones and Rivas all started in week one for the Terps. Alford totaled 114 assists in the first weekend, including 50 against Air Force, the most by a Terrapin since teammate junior setter Taylor Smith did it on September 19, 2016, had 52 Oklahoma.
WELCOME BACK KATIE
• Redshirt sophomore Katie Myers returns to the starting lineup this season after suffering season-ending knee injuries in each of the last two seasons. Myers was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA this spring, giving her three more seasons in College Park. Myers started in 10 matches at middle blocker as a team captain before an injury in 2017, posting 58 kills at a .325 clip, 43 blocks and 20 digs.
• In her first weekend back, Myers started in all three matches, tallying 17 kills at a .414 percentage, a team-high 11 blocks, three aces, and was named to the All-Tournament Team.
ALL ABOUT THAT ACE
• The Terps were especially strong from the service line in 2017. Maryland ranked fourth in the Big Ten with 1.37 aces per set. Sophomore outside hitter Erika Pritchard ranked sixth the conference with 0.42 aces per set. Pritchard has at least one ace in 22 of 32 matches and had one in the first weekend of the season this year.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS
• Akron, the host of this weekends tournament, went 2-1 in their opening weekend at Cal State Fullerton. The Zips won two five-set matches while losing to Eastern Washington. Maryland is 4-1 all-time against Akron with the last meeting coming in 2011, where the Terps won in three sets.
• Stony Brook, a 2017 NCAA Tournament team, is 2-2 on the young season, beating Jacksonville and San Jose State before losing to USF and Hofstra. Maryland is 2-0 all-time against the Seawolves, with the Terps taking the last meeting in 2009.
• This will be the first all-time meeting between Maryland and Canisus. The Griffins are 1-2 this season with losses to Montana State and Cleveland State and a win over Binghamton.
Saturday, September 8 — vs. Colgate, 10:30 a.m. || vs. South Carolina, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, September 9 — vs. Liberty, 3:00 p.m.
-Via Maryland Athletics