Maryland sweeps Princeton in first round of NCAAs Next up for No. 19 Terps is No. 25 Ohio State

December 06, 1997|By Stan Rappaport | Stan Rappaport,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland's volleyball team has never made it past the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Tonight, the Terps will get another chance.

Maryland defeated a shorter, scrappy Princeton team, 15-6, 15-13, 15-11, last night in a first-round match before 645 at Cole Field House. The 19th-ranked Terps will play 25th-ranked Ohio State, which downed Fairfield, 15-2, 15-2, 15-8, at 5 p.m. for the right to go to the Sweet 16.

"We have the home-court advantage," said Maryland coach Janice Kruger, whose team has lost in the second round the past two years. "We've got to take advantage of that and fight to get to the Sweet 16, where we belong."

Maryland (27-1) defeated Ohio State (23-10) in five games Aug. 30 in a tournament at Oregon State.

"They are a very good serving team," Kruger said about the Buckeyes. "Our passing is going to have to be on."

Maryland never got into any rhythm against the Tigers (22-6). The Terps trailed early in the first two games, and trailed 7-4 in the third.

"We made some mistakes," said Terps right-side hitter Elizabeth Efron, who led the team with 15 kills. "We wanted to win so bad. You get nervous and do things you usually don't do."

Princeton was undersized -- its tallest player was 5 feet 10 -- but unrelenting. The Tigers showed that at the start, taking a 4-0 lead.

Maryland's size -- the Terps started three players 6 feet or taller -- was a factor throughout and especially at the end of the first game. Four of Maryland's last six points were the result of point blocks.

Maryland led 11-5 in the second game, but Princeton rallied to tie at 13. The teams traded side-outs -- 11 in a row -- before Maryland's Kate Hannas (Mount Hebron) had one of her 10 kills to break the deadlock. Efron's back-row kill ended the game that had 57 side-outs.

"When we got to 13-all, we lost our aggressiveness in our serve," said Princeton coach Glenn Nelson. "That was the turning point in the match."

Maryland, which went undefeated in the regular season before losing to Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament semifinals, trailed 7-4 in the third game before rallying for an 11-7 lead.

The Tigers rallied to tie at 11 but could get no closer.

Hannas, a 6-3 sophomore who was an All-Metro player two years ago, leading Mount Hebron to the Class 3A title, started and had a strong match. She recently switched from outside hitter to the middle, and assisted on five point blocks and had some well-timed tips.

"I think she did really well," Kruger said. "She scored some points, had some blocks and also got some digs [five]."

Pub Date: 12/06/97

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