Maryland Volleyball Battles in a Tough Loss Against No. 16 Michigan

Photo by Lauren Anikis
Photo by Lauren Anikis

The energy was high in the Xfinity Center as Maryland volleyball lost in a close match against No. 16 Michigan in five sets.

Fans rose to their feet as the Terps won the first two sets, both with a score of 25-21. Maryland lost the third set 25-18 and struggled in the fourth as Michigan clenched a 25-14 win. The fifth set ultimately gave Michigan the win with a score of 18-16.

Maryland (8-13, 0-9 Big Ten) refused to give up against Michigan (17-4, 6-3 Big Ten) and Gia Milana stood out with a career-high 22 kills in the match. Milana said the career-high kill record does not mean anything to her and that she always looks to be the biggest asset to her team she can be.

“If we were good enough we would have won that game,” Milana said. “I think that we just have to get back in the gym and like Coach says, just get one percent better every day.”

Taylor Smith also stood out in the match with 43 assists and a .429 hitting percentage against the Wolverines.

“It was definitely great to know the work that everyone has been putting in is paying off,” Smith said. “The passes were great, defense and digs were amazing, and it was great to know that the hitters were there. I could get them a ball and I could trust them to put the ball away. It’s a growing and learning connection and I think we’re getting there.”

Volleyball vs. Michigan
Photo by Lauren Anikis.

The Terps played with determination throughout the match and came close to upsetting the No. 16 team in the fifth set. Maryland had two match point opportunities and the whole crowd was on their feet throughout the entire set, but witnessed a heartbreaking loss with the Wolverines’ 18-16 set win.

Sophomore Julien McDermott, an animal science major, said, “This is actually the first volleyball game I’ve been to this season, but I went to a couple last year and I’m really excited to see what the team does this year.”

Maryland volleyball fans can look forward to Saturday’s game, when the Terps look to take down the Scarlet Knights at Rutgers (4-18, 0-9 Big Ten).

“I just want the team to develop and keep getting better,” Maryland’s head coach Steve Aird said after the game. “I want them to be in attack mode on Saturday and if we win, great, if we lose, it means we’re not good enough to beat them yet and we’ve got to keep getting better.”

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