NEW PALTZ, N.Y. – The No. 21 Salisbury University volleyball team opened the Hawks Invitational at the State University of New York at New Paltz on Friday night with two 3-0 victories over Mount Saint Mary (N.Y.) College and State University of New York at Old Westbury.
Salisbury 3, Mount Saint Mary 0
The Sea Gulls started the weekend off with a three-set sweep of Mt. St. Mary, taking the match 25-18, 25-12, 25-11.
Freshman Katie Stouffer led the team with 14 kills in the match, her fourth-straight match with double-digit kills.
The first set remained close, as the Gulls' largest lead was five, until the final two points that sealed the win at a seven-point margin.
With the set tied, 4-4, Salisbury went on a 6-2 run to gain a 10-6 lead, and it would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game; the run included two kills by junior Kirby Buttry.
The teams kept the start of the second game close, as well, and found the set tied, 9-9. Junior Nikki Binetti would spark the Sea Gulls from there, as she had a hand in four of the next five points for the team, as a part of a 7-0 run. Binetti tallied a kill to begin the run, and after a Mt. St. Mary attack error, Binetti assisted in three-straight blocks; she combined with junior Julie Poston on the first two and Smith on the third.
Salisbury wouldn't look back, finishing the set on a 16-3 run for the win.
The Gulls took a similar approach in the third set, going on a 15-3 run after having taken a 10-8 lead to complete the sweep.
Salisbury 3, Old Westbury 0
Salisbury continued its strong play against Old Westbury, winning 25-10, 25-10, 25-15.
Trailing in the opening set, 5-4, a kill by senior Tam Weems to tie the game sparked a 12-0 run for the Gulls. Weems and Smith led the team with three and five kills, respectively, during the run.
After five Old Westbury attack errors and two service aces from senior Jess Tallant, SU took the first set.
Salisbury kept the pressure on in the second set with another big run with the scored tied, 3-3, to take a 12-5 lead. Buttry and freshman Shannon Russell, who led the team with six kills in the match, both tallied two to help build the lead and allow the Gulls to take another 25-10 win.
SU took an early 4-0 lead in the third game, but Old Westbury battled back to cut the score to 5-4 and kept the game close.
With an 18-15 lead, a kill and three service aces by Russell closed out the second victory of the night for the Sea Gulls.
Salisbury will be back in action on Saturday, continuing the Hawks Invitational; the Gulls will begin the day with an 11 a.m., match against Ithaca College.