Maryland volleyball falls in sweep to No. 2 Wisconsin, 3-0

Photo courtesy of Chris Lyons/Maryland Athletics

Wisconsin stifled the sell-out Maryland crowd, going on early runs and playing low-error ball. The Terps spent the entirety of the match playing catch-up and looked outmatched by the Badgers’ attack.

Maryland volleyball (15-11, 5-9 Big Ten) suffered its second loss to No. 2 Wisconsin (22-1, 13-1 Big Ten) this season on Friday, falling in three sets. 

Wisconsin played extremely clean, not committing an attack error until halfway through the second set — its lone attack error. The Badgers hit .494 with 40 kills over the entirety of the match, much better than the Terps’ 23 attack errors and .039 hitting percentage.

Similar to the first two sets, Wisconsin took an early lead. An 8-0 run stretched the lead to ten as Maryland was unable to find a way to collect points. The Badgers’ net presence was strong, not allowing any of Maryland’s attacks to fall. With every ball falling in Wisconsin’s favor, the energy left the gym as the Badgers took complete control of the match. They ran away with a dominant 25-8 third set victory.

“[Wisconsin] played phenomenally. I give them credit for a lot of that, they threw a massive punch out of the gate,” coach Adam Hughes said. “I told the team I was really proud that they stood tall … I think Wisconsin is the best team in the country. Kudos and tip the cap to them.”

Wisconsin quickly silenced the sell-out Maryland crowd, opening the match on a 10-0 run. The Badgers’ towering middle blockers set the tone early — they recorded five blocks in the first set, with sophomore Carter Booth leading the way. Booth’s three kills and three blocks led Wisconsin to a dominant set one win.

Csire was a bright spot despite a rough collective offensive first set for Maryland. The senior navigated the imposing Wisconsin middle blockers to get kills. After accounting for five of Maryland’s seven set one kills, Csire finished the match with a team-leading 15 kills.

The Terps started to find themselves offensively and went on a run toward the end of the set. Kills from outside hitter Sam Csire and middle blocker Eva Rohrbach gave the Terps momentum heading into the second.

“They hit really well but we need to be more disciplined in our blocks. To have only one block with the talent that we have, I think we can get a few of those back,” Csire said. “At the same time, [Wisconsin] went out swinging, stayed aggressive the whole time and made smart shots.”

But the momentum was short lived as the Badgers opened the second set on another run, this time a 5-0 run fueled by kills and Maryland attack errors. From there the two sides traded points, allowing Wisconsin to maintain a steady lead.

Csire delivered an ace down 23-20 as the Terps didn’t go away, forcing the Badgers to call timeout. But outside hitter Sarah Franklin’s back-to-back kills after the timeout ended the set for Wisconsin.

The Badgers carried the momentum into the third set, shutting the door on any hope of a Maryland comeback.

The Terps will look to snap their three-game losing streak against Ohio State on Sunday. Maryland fell to the Buckeyes earlier this season in three sets.

Posted by Josh Panepento