FROSTBURG, Md. – The No. 18 Salisbury University volleyball team locked up a first-round bye in the upcoming Capital Athletic Conference tournament, topping CAC foe Frostburg State University and Carnegie Mellon University by matching 3-0 scores in a tri-match on Saturday.
Salisbury's 25-14, 25-16, 25-14 win against the Bobcats to open the day pushed Salisbury's conference record to a perfect 5-0 mark, which would allow the Gulls to finish no worse than second in the CAC at the end of the regular season.
The Sea Gulls opened the day with a block by seniors Chelsea Glowacki and Jenna Shay and sprinted out to an 8-2 lead on the Bobcats. Glowacki also had a pair of kills during the early run, on her way to nine in the match.
After falling behind by six, the closest Frostburg would get in the remainder of the opening set was a five-point deficit as the Sea Gulls never let up. A 5-0 spurt, which featured a block and two kills by freshman Ashlyn Tapley allowed Salisbury to open a 10-point lead, prompting a Bobcat timeout. Tapley led the way for Salisbury with five kills in the opening set and a match-best 14.
The second set was the closest of the match. After Salisbury took an early lead, the Bobcats tied things at 9-9, but Salisbury would pull away, on the strength of three kills each from Glowacki, senior Carley Todd and Tapley. Todd narrowly missed a triple-double in the match, finishing with eight kills to go with a team-best 12 digs and 33 assists.
Junior Danielle DuBois took the ball early in the third set and served Salisbury out to a 7-3 lead. DuBois had two aces during the run and the Sea Gulls had two other aces in the set.
In their second match of the day, the Sea Gulls (28-2, 5-0 CAC) faced a closer match, though they rarely trailed, against Carnegie Mellon, winning 25-19, 25-22, 25-22.
Salisbury did not fall behind in either of the first two sets, and were only tied three times. Tapley had another strong performance, notching Salisbury's first kill of the match to take a 2-0 lead in the first, as the Gulls opened on a 4-0 run. Tapley had 11 kills in the match, along with eight digs.
Carnegie Mellon cut the Salisbury edge to one point on six times and tied the set twice, but the Gulls would not relinquish the lead. The latest tie came at 8-8, before junior Julie Poston ripped one of her five first-set kills to break the tie and send Salisbury on a 6-1 run to take control.
It was an early 5-0 run by the Gulls, featuring two Tapley kills another by Todd and a pair of blocks, registered by senior Kelly Vieira, which allowed Salisbury to pull away in the second set. Carnegie Mellon would cut the lead to one, twice in the set, but could not draw even.
The teams would be tied six times in the third set, and the lead changed hands twice, but Salisbury would notch a service ace from junior Jess Tallant to take the lead for good, 13-12.
Poston finished with 10 kills in the match while Todd had 29 assists and Vieira posted 11 digs.
Salisbury will look to clinch the CAC regular-season championship as they take on second-place Marymount (Va.) University at Maggs Physical Activities Center on Wednesday, Oct. 24. The first serve is set for 7 p.m.