Terps Lose In Straight Sets to Kentucky
Kentucky middle back #20 Queen Nzenwa shows her vertical leap as she fires over a brace of Maryland blockers as the Wildcats went on to win the match 3-0 at the Comcast Pavilion in College Park on Saturday September 6, 2008. David Lovell/DC Sports Box
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- After a tough five set loss to St. John's earlier in the day, the Maryland Terrapins Volleyball team looked to rebound with a close-out win over the Kentucky Wildcats in the Spring Hill Suites at Arundel Mills Invitational tournament. An impenetrable Wildcat backline, led by Sarah Mendoza with 17 kills and 13 digs, and rounded out by Sarah Rumely and BriAnne Sauer (each with 14 defensive digs), proved too much for the Terrapins as they lost 25-13, 25-21, and 25-11 in front of 186 attendees in the Comcast Pavilion. With 3 losses this weekend the Terps descend to a 1-5 overall record this season.

Maryland fell early in their first set against the Wildcats, free-falling into a 10-1 deficit that proved insurmountable. 2 time-outs by head coach Tim Horsmon stemmed the bleeding and the Terps' offense engaged for the remainder of the first set. However, with a pretty deep hole the Terps were unable to climb their way back to even ground and lost the first set 25-13.

The second set was close in the early going and Maryland jumped out to a 2-1 lead. However, straight kills by Lauren Rapp, Queen Nzenwa, and Blaire Hiler gave the Wildcats a 5-2 advantage. Mary Beth Brown then put one away and an attack error by Lauren Rapp from Kentucky made it a 4-5 set. From there the Wildcats began to pull away and took an 11-7 lead before the Terps called timeout. Horsmon's words did little to help the Terps as Sarah Mendoza served up a series of kills that gave the Wildcats a 18-9 advantage. It looked as though the Terps were going to pack it in and concede the match until Tedi Doucet was substituted in to serve. Off her steady arm Maryland closed the gap to a 1 point Kentucky 19-18 advantage. From there on out both teams traded serves until Kentucky edged out the final plays and took the set 25-21.

The third and final set started out even-handed and ran up to a 5-5 tie before Kentucky ran away off serves by Queen Nzenwa and Sarah Rumely. BriAnne Sauer and Annmarie Behr finished off the serves, including an ace against Terrapin Brittney Grove that gave the Wildcats a 25-11 win in set 3 and a W for the match.

The Wildcats played well and out-blocked the Terps 6-2 overall and earned team attack percentages of 37.5%, 23.7%, and 42.4% respectively in the 3 sets. Maryland struggled offensively and were only able to muster 8, 9, and 5 kills in the same sets.

Maryland heads to the Big Easy for competition in the Allstate Sugar Bowl in New Orleans Lousiana next weekend. They'll face North Dakota State, Jacksonville State, and Tulane in 3 matches on September 12 and 13. The following weekend the Terps are back in town but will play on the campus of Towson University in the Towson Invitational. They'll return to College Park for their first conference match against Boston College on September 23 at 7pm.