COLLEGE PARK, Maryland – In a rematch of last year’s game between USC and Maryland women’s volleyball, the score and intensity remained the same. The winner didnt, as Maryland pulled off an early season upset over the 18th ranked Women of Troy, 3-0 on Thursday night at the Xfinity Center.
The game marked the first for each team in the Maryland Challenge, featuring two Pac 12 schools, USC and Washington, and members of the Big 10 (Maryland) and Big 12 (Oklahoma).
Earlier in the day, the Huskies swept the Sooners, 3-0 to kick off the two day tournament in College Park.
Maryland opened strong, taking the first game, 25-22, behind freshman outside hitter, Erika Pritchard, who finished the game with 12 kills and 9 digs.
USC mounted a late comeback, rallying to within two, before the Terrapins pulled away, snapping the Trojans consecutive games streakshut out streak at seven, dating back to a 3-2 victory over the Arkansas Razorbacks on September 8th.
Game two began well for the Trojans, who got off to a 7-3 start before everything fell apart.
Slowly the Terrapins crawled back and tied the game at 18 on the back of freshman outside/opposite hitter, Sam Dreschel, who finished the night with six kills.
The Maryland comeback left USC coach Mick Haley visibly angry on the sidelines.
From there, the Trojans failed to put the Terps away and Maryland took game two, 25-23.
Game three didn’t start any better for USC, as they fell behind early 9-4.
USC’s senior opposite hitter, Brittany Abercrombie, had 10 kills and 4 digs on the night, helping to keep game three within striking distance. USC managed to tie the game at 16, before the Terrapins finished off the Women of Troy in front of a raucous home crowd that supported Maryland from start to finish.
After the game, Maryland coach Steve Aird put the game in the rearview mirror saying that while he was impressed by the Terrapins victory, he was already, “onto Oklahoma.”
- Maryland football head coach, DJ Durkin, and Maryland women’s basketball head coach Brenda Frese were in attendance for tonight’s game.
- Maryland had lost their previous four meetings against USC, including last season’s 3-0 sweep in the Pac 12 Challenge at the Galen Center.
- The Terps 10-0 start, marks their best opening to a season since the 2005 team won 14 in a row to start the season.
- USC made its first ever visit to College Park to take on the Terrapins and Sooners.
- While Maryland and Oklahoma will play three games each over the two day tournament, USC and Washington will only play two as they play each other in conference play on October 1st and 27th.
Maryland plays Oklahoma tomorrow morning at 11 a.m. and Washington at 7 p.m. to close out their non-conference schedule before beginning conference play next week at Ohio State.
The Women of Troy close out their non-conference schedule with Oklahoma tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. before returning to Los Angeles this weekend. They open up Pac 12 play on the road against crosstown rival UCLA Wednesday night at Pauley Pavilion.