Sept. 4, 2009
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Maryland totaled a .352 hitting percentage on its way to recording a three-set victory over the Navy volleyball team Friday night at the Wesley A. Brown Field House in Annapolis. The Terrapins (3-2) emerged from the opening day of the Battle of Baltimore Tournament with a 25-16, 25-14, 25-21 win over the Mids (1-4).
In the opening matches of the tournament that were played earlier in the day, Navy lost a three-set decision to Morgan State while Maryland dropped a five-set contest to Towson. In the other matches, Towson posted a four-set win over Loyola and Loyola tallied a three-set triumph over Morgan State.
Day two of the tournament will be played at Towson, with Navy taking on Loyola at 12:30 p.m. before facing the host Tigers at 7 p.m.
"Neither myself nor anyone on the team is happy with what our record is at this point of the season," said Navy head coach Mike Schwob. "But I am pleased with the progress we are making. Our last set tonight may have been our best set of the season.
"We have new people, whether they be either new players or returning players who are in new positions, at almost every spot on the floor and getting everyone on the same page takes some time. We also are going through this transition against our most challenging preseason schedule in a number of years. We are giving ourselves opportunities to win; with some more experience I feel we will be able to convert those chances into victories."
Though Maryland held the lead through the entire opening set, the score was close until the Terrapins went on an 8-1 run to take a 19-11 advantage. The second set was very similar to the first in that Maryland used a 6-1 run to break out to a 16-10 lead.
Navy was the team to take the early lead in the third set. The Mids went on a 6-0 run to turn a 7-5 deficit into an 11-7 lead. Carolyn Ewert (Fr., Bakersfield, Calif.) played a huge role in the run for the Mids as she tallied a trio of kills and teamed with Krista Eschelman (Sr., Germantown, Md.) for a block to finish off another point for Navy.
Maryland narrowed the margin down to one point at 12-11, but a trio of quick points by the Mids boosted their advantage to 15-11. The Terrapins responded by scoring the next six points to take the lead at 17-15. Back-to-back points by the Mids tied the score at 17-17, then the teams traded sideouts to tie the score again at 18-18.
Maddie Lee knocked down back-to-back kills for Maryland to give the Terps a 20-18 lead, with Navy's Abbie Merkl (Sr., Upper Marlboro, Md.) promptly slicing the margin in half (20-19) with a kill of her own.
The next play saw Lisa Scott pound down a Navy overpass to give Maryland a 21-19 lead, with an Eschelman attack error on the following play giving the Terps a three-point cushion (22-19). After Ewert recorded another kill for Navy, Jenny Rudewicz (Jr., Winter Garden, Fla.), who served five-straight points for Navy earlier in the set, committed a service error to make the score 23-20. Rudewicz set Merkl for a kill to make it a two-point set, but Scott tallied another kill to take the Terps to match point. Maryland would convert its first opportunity to win the match when Katie User recorded a kill.
Helping Maryland to its 2-0 lead in sets was the fact that the Terps held sizeable hitting percentage advantages over Navy in the early going of the match. The Terrapins outhit Navy .389-.147 in set one and .464-.129 in the second set. However, the two teams recorded an almost identical hitting percentage in the third set. Both teams finished with 15 kills in the final set, with Maryland posting a mark of .250 to narrowly top Navy's tally of .244.
While Maryland ended the match with its aforementioned overall attack percentage of .352, the Terps also held Navy to a mark of .179 on the night. Maryland also recorded 46 digs and 7.0 team blocks to Navy's 41 digs and 3.0 team blocks.
Individually, Maryland's Kara Bates and Katie User both tallied 12 kills in the match, with Usher not committing an attack error on 24 swings for a .500 attack percentage. On the other side of the net, Merkl led Navy with 10 kills. Defensively for the two teams, Marissa Odom hauled in 13 digs for Maryland, while Holly Berger (So., Claremont, Calif.) finished with 10 digs for Navy.