Preview: Maryland volleyball hits the road for weekend matches against Indiana and No. 16 Purdue

Photo courtesy of Dylan Davies/Maryland Athletics

Maryland volleyball (16-12, 6-10 Big Ten) embarks on its final road series of the season, heading to Indiana to take on the Hoosiers (18-11, 8-8 Big Ten) and No. 16 Purdue (17-8, 11-5). The Terps lost to both teams at home earlier this season.

Maryland picked up its first win of November last weekend, taking down Ohio State to snap a three-match losing streak. The Terps closed out the match in thrilling fashion — going on a 6-1 run to end the third set. They were able to comeback after the Buckeyes built early leads — something they struggled with against No. 3 Wisconsin two days prior. The victory secured a .500 or better record for Maryland for the third straight season.

Erin Morrissey had a career day on Sunday, recording a team high 12 kills while hitting .281. The outside hitter also made plays when it mattered, as her two kills at the end of the third set continued a Terps run that ultimately was the difference maker in the set.

“A couple of different people stepped up at different times,” coach Adam Hughes said. “[Morrissey] stayed aggressive and got a big kill … our resilience was really, really good in that matchup. That is something that we want to continue on. It’s going to be who can close it in clutch situations and we were able to do that.”

Maryland’s weekend starts at 6 p.m. on Friday against an Indiana team that has lost two of its last three matches. It controlled most of the match in its loss to Minnesota last time out but failed to close out the closely contested fourth and fifth sets.

The Hoosiers excel when it comes to serving, something that was prevalent when it came to College Park in October — they out-aced the Terps 8-3 in the three-set sweep. Indiana ranks second in the Big Ten in aces per set (1.76).

Camryn Haworth has been one of the best servers in the country and accounted for three of her side’s aces against Maryland. The junior’s 0.60 aces per set is the best in the conference and ranks third among all Division I players.

“[Haworth’s] spraying the ball all over the place. You can’t really set up in one area for her,” Hughes said. “That’s the great equalizer in volleyball. If you do have a good serving team, you have a good day … She’s not the only one who’s a good server so that is going to be a big thing for us.”

The Hoosiers get their kills from a variety of players. But since conference play started, sophomore Candela Alonso-Corcelles is their number one kill producer. Alonso-Corcelles is on a streak of 12 straight matches with ten or more kills, including a career high 24 last weekend against Minnesota.

After facing Indiana, Maryland will take on the team it opened conference play against — Purdue. The Boilermakers are still a powerful team and are in the midst of a three-match win streak, which will be put to the test on Friday when they face No. 3 Wisconsin.

The duo of outside hitters Eva Hudson and Chloe Chicoine stifled the Terps in the September meeting, combining for 32 of Purdue’s 48 kills, with Hudson adding four blocks. The Boilermakers still get most of their kills from the pair — Hudson averages 4.18 kills per set and Chicoine 3.90.

Purdue hits well (.246 average) as an overall unit, and the Boilermakers make their presence felt at the net. They are third in the Big Ten in blocks per set (2.54) while allowing just 2.03 blocks per set. But Purdue does have a weakness at the service line — its one service ace per set average is the worst in the conference.

Posted by Josh Panepento