It was an attack error late in the third set from outside hitter Rebekah Rath that prompted coach Adam Hughes to tell his team to calm down.
Maryland volleyball had blown late leads both of the first two frames, pushing the squad in a 2-0 hole, so Hughes wanted his squad to stay composed in the third set to prolong the match however far it could go.
After the coach’s reassurance, the Terps successfully closed out the third set thanks to a kill from middle blocker Katie Myers. And after the third, Maryland did the same in the fourth set and the fifth set, another putaway from Myers to complete an impressive comeback at Xfinity Pavilion against the Hoosiers on Wednesday night, 3-2 (25-27, 23-25, 25-22, 25-20, 15-12).
“One of our problems early this year was closing out matches,” Hughes said. “Being down 0-2, I thought it was nice to get a five set win at home.”
The first set was back and forth until a 5-0 run from the Terps put them up 21-17. However, a late turnaround from Indiana tied it up at 24, and the set had to go beyond the 25th point. Ultimately, it was an error from outside hitter Erika Pritchard that sealed the Hoosiers’ set-one win.
Maryland (11-8, 3-4 Big Ten) let another one slip away from them in the second period. The Terps led, 22-20, but after giving up four straight points to coach Steve Aird’s squad, they found themselves facing set point. With the Terps down, 24-23, Myers sent a serve beyond Indiana’s endline, putting the Hoosiers (12-8, 1-6) up two games to none.
“We didn’t really panic after the first two sets,” Hughes said. “We made a few adjustments, and we were able to match Indiana’s intensity.”
Myers played an integral part in dragging Maryland back into the match, with a team-high 21 kills, .366 hitting percentage and seven blocks in her best performance this year. In addition, libero Allegra Rivas posted a season-high 32 digs, coming through with the match on the line.
“All week I’ve been practicing on staying deep,” Rivas said. “I feel like I executed that really well.”
After securing the third frame, Maryland continued to snag the final two sets, too, building a stable lead in the fourth before edging a tight matchup in the fifth.
With the victory, Maryland moved to 3-4 in the Big Ten, as it continues to build off the win against Michigan State on Oct. 12. The Terps will take on No. 5 Nebraska at the Xfinity Pavilion on Saturday.
“It’s obvious right now that our confidence is riding high,” Myers said. “We didn’t play our best match tonight, so we want to be able to find that again.”