At the end of a standout night, Maryland volleyball middle blocker Katie Myers rose up, swung her arm and sent the ball cascading down into the heart of Indiana’s defense. It was one of three points she played a role in — two kills and a block — in the final four points of the fifth set.
When Myers’ feet landed back on the court, she turned toward setter Nicole Alford for a low-five, meeting her teammates in a huddle to celebrate Myers’ season-high 21st kill: the one that finished off former Terps coach Steve Aird’s Hoosiers squad.
Through 19 games this season, Maryland has relied on Myers for her stable attacking contributions and potent net defense. She’s third on the team in kills, and her .416 hitting percentage is highest among players that have appeared in every match. And on Wednesday, with the Terps trailing 2-0, Myers ratcheted up her performance, helping a 3-2 comeback.
“We put a lot of trust in Katie,” coach Adam Hughes said. “She’s putting up huge numbers right now, so we’re trying to find any way we can to feed her the ball.”
Still, Hughes is a coach with a critical eye. For all Myers did well Wednesday night, Hughes recalled her six attacking errors and six service errors, pointing out a few of them as unnecessary miscues.
But those errors could also be a reflection of her increasing confidence on the court. Now, in what’s hoped to be her second full season with the team, Myers is serving harder and taking bigger swings than ever before.
Playing against her old coach’s team, her confidence was on full display. It was a mentality she credited her teammates for instilling in her.
“As soon as I stepped on the court I felt pretty good,” Myers said. “It helped that the setters were setting the ball really well and our defense did a really good job.”
Myers’ impressive statistics in the Big Ten fall in line with the goals she set for herself this season. She currently ranks first in the Big Ten in blocks per set with 1.4, and her .416 hitting percentage is third in the conference.
Her impressive season began in nonconference play. On Sept. 15, she was named MVP of the Maryland Invite. However, she doesn’t want to hang her hat on a tournament accolade.
“[It] felt good, but I’d like to be an All-American a lot better,” Myers said. “That’s what I’m working toward.”
Myers’ first two seasons in College Park were stymied by injuries, and she received a medical hardship waiver following her redshirt year to preserve her eligibility. Now as a redshirt sophomore, she’s consistently producing at a high level.
Her output against Indiana and the coach who first brought her to Maryland exhibited how far she’s come and the impact she has on the Terps.
“She’s put in a lot of work,” Hughes said, “so I’m glad she’s seeing the results.”