The Maryland volleyball team has gained national recognition with back-to-back ranked recruiting classes. Coach Steve Aird landed a top-10 class in 2017, building on the program’s first-ever top-25 group in 2016.
Soon, the Terps will build modern facilities to match their on-court growth. The program announced Tuesday plans for a new team suite, including an entryway, locker room and lounge, adjacent to the Xfinity Center Pavilion.
Construction will begin this fall and is expected to be finished before the 2018 season. The project will cost an estimated $800,000, according to the school.
“We are selling out matches, we travel the right way and our gear is elite,” Aird said in a release. “This locker room is another aspect to providing our team with the best possible experience, and it will have an incredible impact on the future of our program.”
Since moving to the Big Ten – arguably the strongest conference in the country – Maryland has struggled to adapt. The Terps have yet to win more than five Big Ten matches in a season, and they will encounter another difficult schedule this campaign with 15 matches against teams that made last year’s NCAA tournament.
However, an influx of young talent has brought optimism to Aird’s fourth year at the helm.
Outside hitter Gia Milana and outside/opposite hitter Sam Drechsel are the first Under Armour First Team All-Americans to play for Maryland. An abundance of touted underclassmen alongside the duo offers hope the Terps can rise in the Big Ten standings.
In addition, Maryland has worked to market volleyball and attract more people to games.
While the Terps usually compete at the Xfinity Center Pavilion, the team has played matches on the Xfinity Center main floor in recent seasons to draw larger crowds. In 2014, Maryland faced then-No. 1 Penn State and set an attendance record with 4,522 fans. The Terps met the Nittany Lions again in 2015. Last year, they played Iowa prior to Maryland basketball’s Midnight Madness.
This season, Maryland will host the Maryland Challenge – a non-conference tournament in mid-September – on the Xfinity Center main floor, facing Southern California, Oklahoma and Washington. The Terps will also play Penn State on the main floor on Oct. 7.
Maryland has succeeded on the recruiting trail. It has invested resources to grow its fanbase.
Now, the program has been rewarded with a new locker room and team lounge, which includes a study hall, video room and kitchenette.
“On behalf of the program, I’d like to thank the administration and donors for helping us take the next step,” Aird said in a release. “We are so fortunate that we have an incredible community and university behind us and we will look to make them all proud.”