Penn State women’s volleyball vs Maryland preview
As the calendar flips to the final month of the Big Ten regular season, No. 15 Penn State is ready to square off with Maryland Wednesday night.
Both teams are looking to get back into the win column, as Penn State lost a heartbreaking five-set match to No. 6 Ohio State Saturday night, while Maryland is reeling from a three-set sweep by No. 4 Nebraska Saturday.
The Nittany Lions have been on fire at home this season, boasting a record of 10-2. But Maryland has seen most of their success come in road matches, as it is 7-2 in true road games away from College Park.
If the Terps want to continue their winning ways away from their home court, however, they will need to defy some big numbers working against them and accomplish something that hasn’t been done since any of the players on the court were born.
The Nittany Lions enter Wednesday’s match with a spotless 14-0 record over Maryland in matches held at Rec Hall, and boast an overall 31-5-1 record in the series.
In fact, the last 28 contests between these two schools have all gone in favor of the Nittany Lions, as Maryland hasn’t beat Penn State since 1979.
The two teams met in College Park on Oct. 21, and the two teams fought tightly throughout the match. Penn State grabbed the first set 25-22, before Maryland answered by winning the second set 25-23.
A 25-21 victory in Set 3 helped the Nittany Lions gain an advantage, and Penn State sealed the deal in the fourth with a 25-22 win that allowed them to grab a 3-1 match victory.
Kashauna Williams and Allie Holland each led the Nittany Lions the first time around with 13 kills in the match, while Holland also led the team with four aces.
The aces were a crucial part of the first matchup, as Holland’s four matched the number of aces Maryland had as a team throughout all four sets. Penn State had 11 aces in total.
But anytime Maryland comes to town, it’s best to expect a block party. The Terps are top of the nation in blocks per set and have 297.5 total blocks on the season. No other school has more than 255.5.
The blocks were the one big advantage that Maryland boasted on the box score following October’s match, as Maryland had 15 blocks as opposed to just seven for the Nittany Lions.
Rainelle Jones is among the top in the nation in blocks per set and became the all-time program leader in blocks for Maryland in October. There’s no doubt that Penn State will have to be aware of where No. 0 is on the court at all times.
But the Nittany Lions have firepower at all corners to try and exploit Maryland’s tricky defense, as Williams, Holland, and breakout player Katie Clark will all look to help keep Penn State’s perfect Rec Hall record alive against a tough Terrapins team.
Kasey Kreider is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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