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Maryland Spoils Liberty's Home Opener, 3-0

September 1, 2017  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Maryland Spoils Liberty's Home Opener, 3-0

Maryland, the first Big Ten volleyball team to visit the Vines Center, scored a 3-0 (25-21, 25-15, 25-16) sweep over host Liberty in front of 1,502 fans, Friday night during the Liberty Invitational.

Friday's crowd was the fourth best for volleyball in Vines Center history, and highest-attended home opener in program history.

Maryland improves to 4-0 with the win. This is the first time since 2008 that Liberty (1-3) has dropped its home-opening match.

The Terrapins outhit Liberty, .362-.194, for the match. The guests also led, 5-2 in aces, 62-51 in digs and 5-3 in blocks.

For the match, Maryland's Erika Pritchard scored 13 kills, followed by 12 kills and 12 digs from Gia Milana and 10 kills (.500) by Hailey Murray. Taylor Smith fashioned a double-double with 22 assists and 12 digs, while Kelsey Wicinski collected a match-high 23 digs.

Liberty's Casey Goodwin sent down 10 kills, while Victoria Baptista added seven kills and seven digs. Anna Willey dished out a team-high 16 assists, while Margaret Latchford collected 14 digs.

During the first set, the teams tied, 12-12, through 24 points. Maryland then staged an 8-0 run, getting a pair of kills from both Milana and Pritchard. Trailing, 23-16, Liberty scored four straight points, narrowing the gap to 23-20 on a kill by Goodwin. The Terrapins sealed set one, 25-21, when Murray scored a kill.

Maryland hit .400 in the opening session, compared to .231 for the Lady Flames. Pritchard sent down six kills for the Terps, while Goodwin countered with five kills.  

Set two saw a close, 11-10 score after Goodwin's kill. Samantha Snyder then served up three aces during a six-point run, giving the visitors a 17-10 advantage. Maryland pulled away to the finish, winning 25-15.

In the middle set, Maryland outhit Liberty, .395-.267.

Similarly to set two, the Terrapins held an 11-10 lead in the final set. They went on to outscore the Lady Flames, 14-6, down the stretch to close out the sweep. The visitors hit .289 in set three, compared to .103 for Liberty.

The Lady Flames continue their participation at the Liberty Invitational with two matches tomorrow. Liberty takes on Furman at 12:30 p.m. before facing Elon for a 7 p.m. matchup.