With the fourth set of last Friday’s match against Coastal Carolina starting to slip away, Maryland volleyball coach Adam Hughes summoned outside hitter Sydney Bryant off the bench to give the Terps a jolt of momentum.

Bryant delivered respectable performances in her first three relief appearances throughout the season. It seemed she had another one brewing with a crucial kill that tied the set at 22 apiece.

But then, the freshman faltered.

She had a pair of costly attack errors, the second of which wasted a match-winning opportunity for Maryland. By the time the teams returned to the court after the Chanticleers forced a decisive fifth set, Bryant was back where she started the night — on the bench.

Bryant looked on as the Terps eventually prevailed and didn’t see the court during Maryland’s 3-0 win over Princeton the next day. But after Laila Ivey struggled in the first set of Sunday’s match at Howard, Hughes looked to the sideline and called for Bryant once more.

This time, she delivered.

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Bryant entered the game in the second set and pumped six kills past the Bison as Maryland swept Howard to cap its undefeated three-game run at the Maryland Tournament. Her performance Sunday exemplified her value as the Terps’ spark plug off the bench, a difficult role Hughes said the freshman has embraced.

“That’s not an easy place to be, but it is kind of her style,” Hughes said. “She’s got a really live arm [and] she’s not afraid to take a big swing.”

That was apparent from the start Sunday. The freshman checked in with Maryland leading 5-3 in the second frame and accounted for five of the game’s next nine points, though not all of them went to the Terps.

Bryant’s first kill pushed Maryland ahead 8-4, an advantage that shrunk in half on her attack error two points later. She responded with her second putaway on the ensuing point but immediately misfired on her next two swings, igniting a five-point surge that propelled the Bison ahead 11-9.

Bryant was nervous upon entering, she said, but she quickly shook away the jitters that came with subbing in cold off the bench. She exhibited more prudence as the set progressed and didn’t commit another error as the Terps eventually wrested away control. Her third kill extended Maryland’s lead to 19-16 before the Terps withstood a brief Howard rally and won the set 25-20.

[Balanced attack, endline discipline lead Maryland volleyball to 3-0 sweep of Howard]

“Looking at my team, knowing that my coach has enough faith in me to put me in in those tough moments, it definitely calms me down,” Bryant said. “And I just get out there and I try to just play with my team, do what I can for my team, and just keep my mentality on that — try and not freak myself out too much.

Bryant halted a three-point Bison run in the subsequent set with her fourth kill. The freshman’s fifth putaway later in the stanza ignited a surge that saw the Terps score seven of the game’s next eight points, taking a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

After polishing off her splendid offensive day with her sixth kill, Bryant stamped Maryland’s win with a defensive highlight when she teamed up with Eva Rohrbach for her first-career block to seal the Terps’ sweep.

Bryant responded to her first dose of freshman adversity with a bounce-back performance that validated the trust that Hughes has in her. The coach added that Bryant has routinely been one of the team’s best attackers in practice. Her resilience in Sunday’s game has Maryland’s coach confident that Bryant will soon blossom far beyond her bench role.

“The way that ‘Syd B’ is put together as an athlete is that she’s not gonna be afraid of what happened in the past,” Hughes said. “She’s gonna go get it.”