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Strong start not enough in loss for Maryland




EAST LANSING, Mich. Despite a sophomore’s double-double Sarah Franklin, Michigan State fell to Maryland, 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 16-25, 18-25), in Big Ten volleyball action Saturday night at Jenison Field House.

The loss took the Spartans to 8-9 and 1-7 in the conference standings, while the Terrapins improved to 15-5 overall and 3-5 in the league.

After taking the opening set with a .472 batting percentage, MSU was unable to hold back much of the Maryland runs in the final three sets due to 14 service errors and four blocking errors by the Spartans. On the other side of the net, the Terrapins limited their errors to 13 offenses and four service errors, hitting over .200 in all four sets. A wide MSU lead of 58-45 in kills didn’t negate the Maryland advantage in aces (7-5), digs (60-59), and blocks (11-7).

Franklin’s 20 kills gave the outside hitter her fourth appearance this fall with more than 20 terminations. Her 13 digs also yielded Franklin her fifth double-double of the campaign. Junior Cecilee Max Brown also hit double-digit digs, with a career-best 15 digs on Saturday alongside nine kills and two aces, and Naya Gross added on 10 kills from a game-high .381 success rate. Maryland was led by Sam Csire’s double-double (15 kills, 10 digs), while Maryland setter Sydney Dowler also had a double-double with 34 assists, 11 digs and three aces.

Michigan State now heads to West Lafayette, Indiana on Wednesday, October 20 for a matchup with Purdue, before completing the regular season series with Maryland on October 23 at College Park.


  • Franklin led all players with 20 kills and added 13 counts for her fifth double-double of the season
  • Gros scored 10 kills and registered team highs with a .381 hit clip and four blocks
  • Max-Brown ran the pace of the Spartans with a career-best 15 digs and missed a one-kill double-double
  • Junior Biamba Kabengele led MSU with three service aces to go with five kills
  • sophomore Celia Cullen had a team-best 48 assists, her second-highest total of the season, and missed a double-double by nine digs


  • Senior Lauryn Gibbs made her first start of the season at libero, with seven digs and five assists
  • Michigan State’s 58 homicides on Saturday were a season high, surpassing the 57 homicides in Michigan on Sept. 26
  • Maryland’s 13 offenses were the lowest of all MSU opponents this season
  • Gros has now recorded multiple blocks in 15 consecutive matches
  • Michigan State now leads the all-time series with Maryland by a 13-2 . ​​margin


  • SET ONE: The Spartans took an early lead thanks to a Cecilee Max Brown kill and back-to-back aces from Biamba Kabengele at 5-2. Maryland took his first time out of the frame 18-14 to stop an MSU run and take a point, but the Spartans used a 5-0 wave to widen the gap and finally closed finished the set with kills from Kabengele and Sarah Franklin. Green and White closed the opener by outhitting the visitors, .472 to .200, also leading 21-7 in kills. Individually, Franklin and Gros each scored five kills for the Spartans at the end of the set.
  • TWO SETTINGS: Maryland came out with a 4-0 run in the next set before MSU could react, but the Spartans took five of the next six runs to equalize. The hosts used a 3-0 piece later to tie the set again at 11-11 and did the same again to make it 18-18, but five straight runs from the Terrapins gave UMD the biggest lead of the frame. Maryland took the set despite Franklin registering seven kills in the frame for MSU as the Terrapins posted a .256 hit rate and 13 kills compared to the Spartans .111 clip and 14 kills.
  • SET THREE: Maryland booked a 3-0 MSU run with 3-0 own runs to take a 6-3 lead, but MSU gradually increased the set to 10-10 after Max-Brown had a kill and an ace at back to back points. The Terrapins re-took the lead and never looked back, using a 5-0 run that turned into a 15-6 final to win the set. Maryland hit .269 against the Spartans’ .147 clip and also grabbed five aces in the frame. Franklin recorded six of the 11 MSU kills in the set, compared to the guests’ 10 total kills.
  • FOUR SETTINGS: The Spartans were able to move up 7-4, but the Terrapins went on another pitch with a 5-0 streak, aided by three straight MSU offense errors. Maryland made up for that to a 14-3 run before Michigan State was able to count back-to-back points from UMD offense fouls. The Terrapins finished the deciding set with five kills over their last six points, finishing with 15 kills and a .263 attack percentage in the fourth frame. For the Spartans, they racked up 12 kills despite a .103 hit clip.




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