Sea Gulls move to Buttermaker championship pool with two wins Friday

Sea Gulls move to Buttermaker championship pool with two wins Friday

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – The No. 22 Salisbury University volleyball team advanced to the championship pool of the Buttermaker Tournament, hosted by Muhlenberg College, with two wins on Friday.

The Gulls (6-0) opened the day with their fifth-straight 3-0 win, taking down the University of Rutgers-Camden, 25-21, 25-17, 25-20, and closing the day with a 3-1 win over DeSales University, 25-20, 24-26, 25-23, 25-23.

With the wins, Salisbury will play for the tournament championship on Saturday, taking on the host Mules at 10 a.m., followed by a match against Gallaudet University at noon.

Salisbury 3, Rutgers-Camden 0

This marked the second 3-0 win against Rutgers-Camden this season, after Salisbury took down the Scarlet Raptors during last weekend's Battlefield Classic.

On Friday night, the Sea Gulls were paced by junior Julie Poston, who hit .556 with 10 kills on 18 attempts, with no errors, and junior Mattie Smith added nine kills and 11 digs.

Junior defensive specialist Michelle Meehan led the Salisbury defense with 21 digs and a pair of service aces, while sophomore setter Kacey Franz had 26 assists and 10 digs.

Salisbury 3, DeSales 1

In the nightcap, Salisbury saw its toughest battle of the season, never building a lead of more than six points in any game of the match. The Sea Gulls trailed by three points in the first set before an 11-4 Salisbury run gave the Gulls an 18-14 lead, with two kills by junior Nicole Binetti along the way.

DeSales could only close the gap to three through the rest of the set before Binetti finished things with her sixth kill of the set off a Franz assist as Salisbury hit .265 in the opening game. Binetti finished with a match-best 16 kills and six blocks, while Franz put up a career-best 51 assists to go with 14 digs.

Nine errors plagued Salisbury in the second set, but never trailed by more than two, and having a chance with the frame tied, 24-24, following a block by senior Tam Weems. But a pair of DeSales kills tied the match at one game apiece.

Four different Sea Gulls notched three kills in the third set and Meehan had 10 digs in the set, as Salisbury jumped out to a 10-6 lead before putting itself on the brink of the win.

Salisbury trailed 5-1 in the fourth set before a Poston kill sparked a 6-2 run to tie the set. The Sea Gulls trailed once more, but a 12-6 run closed the match on another Binetti kill.

Smith had five kills in the final set and finished with 15 in the match, while Weems had 10 and Meehan closed the night with 26 digs and two more aces.

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