Wake Forest Earns First Sweep of Maryland in Eight Years
Sept. 22, 2007
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Wake Forest picked up its second sweep in as many nights, defeating Maryland in three games Saturday evening at Reynolds Gymnasium. The Demon Deacons held off the Terrapins 30-20, 32-30, 30-25.
Wake Forest moves to 5-7 overall and 2-1 in the ACC, while Maryland drops to 8-4 overall and 0-3 in conference play.
The Deacons finished the weekend with a pair of conference sweeps after defeating Boston College on Friday. It marked the first time since 2005 that Wake Forest has swept ACC teams on back-to-back occasions. Wake had not swept ACC opponents on consecutive nights since 2003 when the Deacs beat Florida State and Virginia Oct. 25-26.
Saturday's win was also the first time that Wake Forest has swept Maryland since 1999, and it was only the third sweep of the Terps in Deacon volleyball history.
"It was really exciting to see the team come out focused," said Wake Forest head coach Heather Kahl Holmes. "We had the momentum throughout the first game and never looked back. The kids weren't going to let it slip away from us.
"The key tonight was our passing. It was probably the best we've passed all year. I felt we were in system more often than not. Our hitters did a great job on placement, and our serving kept us in the game."
Junior Jessica Furlong led Wake Forest with a match-high 20 kills and a career-best four aces. Furlong just missed a double-double, tying for the team lead with nine digs.
Freshman setter Kelsey Jones tied Furlong with nine digs and also dished out 36 assists on the night.
Junior Natalie Mullikin hit .471 with 10 kills and two errors on 17 attempts. Mullikin also turned in a block solo and a pair of block assists.
Freshmen Lauren McIntyre and Kristen White led the Deacs with four blocks each. McIntyre had four block assists, while White had two block solos and two block assists.
The Deacons pulled away early in game one. With the contest tied 4-4, Wake scored eight straight points to take a 12-4 lead that it would not relinquish. The Deacs pushed their lead to as many as 11 (23-12) and would not let the Terps closer than five (24-19) the rest of the way. Wake Forest came away with a 30-20 opening-game victory.
Furlong hit .444 with six kills and two aces to lead the Deacs in game one. White had all four of her blocks in the stanza, while McIntyre recorded three of her blocks.
Wake Forest had to rally for a win in game two. Maryland got out to a 10-5 lead before Wake rallied to tie it at 14-14.
The Terps reclaimed the lead and increased their margin to seven, 23-16. The Deacs followed with a 10-4 run to pull within one at 27-26. Maryland, however, still held the advantage and took it to game point, 29-27.
Wake fought back with three straight points to take its own game point, 30-29. After a Deacon service error, Wake Forest scored the final two points for the 32-30 win.
Jones dished out 16 assists in game two, while Furlong and Mullikin had six and five kills respectively.
The Deacs never trailed in game three but still had to stave off a late Terrapin rally for the win. Wake broke a 6-6 tie with four straight points, but Maryland stayed close and eventually knotted the game at 19-19.
Consecutive kills from Mullikin and White gave Wake Forest a 21-19 lead it would not relinquish. The Deacons scored four of the final five points to earn a 30-25 win. Freshman Megan Thornberry put the finishing touches on the win with a service ace on match point.
Furlong led Wake Forest with eight kills and two aces, while Jones recorded 10 assists in game three.
"I don't remember the last time we swept two ACC teams back-to-back, and I don't know many teams in the ACC that have done it," said Kahl Holmes. "So it's a very big step for this team, especially being as young as we are. But we still have a lot to work on, and we're only going to get better."
Wake Forest hits the road for its next four matches. The Deacs head south next weekend to take on Miami on Friday, Sept. 28, and Florida State on Sunday, Sept. 30.