By David F.P.
COLLEGE PARK, MD- Two days after their victory over NC State, the Maryland Terrapins hosted the University of North Carolina Tar Heels on Sunday afternoon. UNC would take the match 3 sets to 1.
Editor’s Note: As always these reports are very offensive focused, this is not meant to take away from the defensive efforts and the cooperative efforts that each player is making, as they are all critical to a team’s success. It’s just a matter of what can be followed and relayed. Many defensive plays and key assists can be missed in the heat of the play.
In set 1 Maryland took it with a 25-15 win, highlights for the Terps included Kara Bates and Brittney Grove sharing a block, later Bethany Springer served up an ace, and Kara Bates picked up the team’s 5th point with a kill, Maryland was off to a big run including a great save by Grove, and Bates came up with a block, Lisa Scott took a set and smashed it over, and a UNC miscue gave them a 10-2 lead, Grove had another save, though it didn’t result in a point, right afterward Bates came up with a kill to keep the lead at 5, Cushman used a well placed whap to send the ball into a corner, following a good save by Springer, Remy McBain directed her dig to a corner, Cushman hammered the ball over and the defenders dug it out of play, Sarah Harper’s serve flew over and in for an ace, Grove tipped the ball to the gap to put the lead at 7 points, Grove set the ball, another point would follow, Maddi Lee launched a missile from the net, Grove and Lee then teamed up on a block, and the lead was 6 again, Bates had a kill for the team’s 21st point, Scott set up and nailed a kill in to get the team within 3, a tandem block would follow for the Terps, Cushman ended the set with a rocket off the blockers.
For UNC, Emily McGee got them on the board with a kill, Shelbey Bleke had a tap over for their 2nd point of the set, Bleke took a set and sent a kill sailing in hard, Courtney Johnston whapped the ball off the blockers to cut the lead in half, Kayla Berringer had a good defensive play, and that kept the ball alive to eventually lead to a point, later Bleke and McGee shared a block, Bleke added a kill in not long after and the lead was cut to 4, good D from Kaylie Gibson kept a ball alive late in the set, though no points resulted, after a teammate’s kill, Johnston crushed an attack, Christine Vaughen didn’t let the set end without a smash from a set, Gibson came up with another key play during a long rally, and Vaughen launched a kill in.
In set 2, UNC took the set 25 to 16.
Highlights for the Tar Heels included McGee’s tap over the block to get the scoring started a teammate would knock the ball over for a second point. Johnston’s block followed by a kill keep their scoring run going, McGee unleashed a a kill which nailed a Terp on the way out of play, Johnston crushed an attack as the two teams traded points, later Vaughen sent a quick shot in, and at teammate’s blast hit a Terp and ricocheted into the seats, later Vaughen took a set and hammered it over, Vaughen’s tap over the defense gave them a two point lead, a string of UNC points followed including a Cora Harms kill, and the scoring continued until UNC was up 16-10, interrupted only by one UMD point, before McGee added a kill and another point followed off an attack error, Johnston laced an attack cross court, and 3 more points followed to make it 22-14 despite a few UMD point sin between, during the closing moments both Vaughen and Gibson had defensive saves to keep things going. It would be two attack errors and a Vaughen block that would close the set out.
For the Terps, a good dig by Springer kept the ball moving but did not result in points on the play, a jumping kill from a teammate broke the 5 unanswered points streak UNC had put up and they scored on a Tar Heel miscue and on Bates delivering a kill, not long after her smash sent the ball off a Tar Heel and straight over the scorer’s table, Bates picked up another kill amidst a UNC scoring run, later Cushman’s spike launched the ball off the block and out of play, later Remy McBain took a set and misdirected it over the net as an attack, a net error on UNC pulled Maryland back with 1, McBain smashed a set ball over, Scott delivered a kill late in the set as the Terps had not been able to keep up with the North Carolina scoring, McBain also added a big kill though the deficit remained late.
Set 3 was a much closer contest as North Carolina pulled out the win edging Maryland 25 to 21.
The set opened with North Carolina’s Gibson making a great diving save and sliding halfway across the floor to do I, later Bleke and Harms teamed up on a block, other highlights for UNC included a service ace from Harms, Bleke whammed an attack off the defenders and out of play a bit later, Johnston’s titanic blast preserved a small UNC lead, the Heels benefited from a few Maryland attack errors even as the Terps scored some offensive points, McGee’s precision kill and another Maryland attack error had them now up by 4, McGee preserve the lead again with a massive spike, and a Bleke block pulled them ahead by 5. McGee slid in for a dig which allowed Johnston to unleashed a thunderous spike, later, Vaughen struck again, soon afterward the Heels benefited from 4 Maryland attack errors and the score was 22-16, McGee delievered a huge kill, after each side traded points, the visitors were within 1 of the set victory, Johnston would crush the Terps hopes of a comeback with her spike and the set was theirs.
For Maryland highlights include Bates sending a cross court smash, Lee added a kill that hit the blockers and flew out of play, Bates added a spike just in bounds, and Lee served up an ace just within the boundary lines, Scott had a diagonal spike just in bounds, Harms had a kill just in bounds, and not long after a ginormous spike sending the ball flying into the zone not returned, Bates had a smash, two more points followed including a kill from Scott, Harms smashed from the net, and McBain hit it into a back gap to get the home team within 2, Lee had a kill late, Bates sent a kill cross court, and another point followed, Bates and Scott shared a huge block to cut the lead to 2,
Set 4 went North Carolina’s way as well 25 to 22, but it was also a close fought match.
Heel highlights included Johnston picking up more kills early on, Vaughen had a cross court kill from the net, to tie things up at 6, McGee bombarded an attack through the block, and McGee added a cross court kill joined with a Maryland attack error to tie it up, after Maryland took a point, Suzanne Haydel had a smash to tie it back up, Johnston picked up another point, Haydel launched it cross court, and Bleke followed that up with a service ace for a two point lead, after the two sides traded a bunch of points, Haydel hit it in to regain a 2 point lead, McGee tied things up at 18 with a spike through the hands of the Terp blockers, Cayla Shortly came up with a save but on a play that resulted in a UMD point, McGee responded to a Terp point with a kill of her own, and then did the same, Johnston had a smash over, and then another, Haydel also had a kill, though the last two points came from UMD attack errors and that was that.
And for Maryland in the effort, Grove had a block for the first Terp points, Bates had a kill, and Grove launched a kill from mid court, followed by another kill, and an ace from Lee, Cushman whapped the ball off the blockers, and pounced on an overpass smacking the errant UNC pass just in bounds, she then followed up a North Carolina time out with a huge kill, Grove’s kill regained the lead, Bates whisked an attack through the block, the Terps would take a lead thanks in part to Cushman’s missile late, on an extremely long rally back and forth Sarah Harper picked up a save, though the point didn’t go their way, Cushman had yet another massive spike, as the two sides continued to trade points Grove tapped through a block.
With the loss Maryland ended up with a 17-9 record, and 8-6 in the ACC, North Carolina ended up 20-6 and 11-2 in the ACC.