Maryland volleyball opposite/outside hitter Samantha Drechsel is the third player to transfer from the program since former coach Steve Aird left for Indiana on Dec. 27.
Drechsel, a Bothell, Washington, native, will transfer to Washington, the player announced Tuesday on Instagram. She was the highest ranked recruit from the Terps' top-10 recruiting class last season, and she finished the campaign third on the team with 211 kills.
"real excited to come home and further my volleyball & academic career at the University of Washington!! #godawgs 💜💛," Drechsel wrote on Instagram.
Drechsel's transfer is the latest blow for a team that appeared poised for a breakout campaign after being the first team left out of the NCAA tournament in November, a competition the Terps haven't reached since 2005. Coach Adam Hughes, hired to replace Aird after serving as the program's associate head coach, must address his thinned roster in the coming months.
Maryland's best-ever recruit Gia Milana will transfer to Baylor and outside hitter Lexi Alden, who appeared in just six sets last campaign, transferred to Loyola University Chicago, though a team official said she wanted to be closer to her home in Wisconsin. Libero Kelsey Wicinski announced prior to Aird's departure that she transferred to Florida State.
Drechsel's departure leaves a significant hole for Maryland at the pins, with just three outside or opposite hitters remaining on the roster. Hughes could look to bolster his numbers with a transfer, or look for help internally from players with past experience as attackers, such as libero Sam Burgio and middle blocker Jada Gardner.
With the graduations of middle blocker Hailey Murray and defensive specialist Samantha Higginbothem, Maryland is also left with just two backcourt-focused players.