Sea Gulls split opening day of Blue Jay Classic

Sea Gulls split opening day of Blue Jay Classic

ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. – The No. 23 Salisbury University volleyball team opened the Blue Jay Classic at Elizabethtown College on Friday, winning its first match, 3-0, over Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, before falling to the University of Rochester (N.Y.), 3-2.

Salisbury 3, Richard Stockton 0

The Sea Gulls swept the Ospreys in their first match of the weekend tournament, 30-28, 25-23, 25-16.

Junior Mattie Smith led the SU attack with 11 kills, while freshman Katie Stouffer and junior Kirby Buttry both added five kills each.

Splitting the setting responsibilities, sophomore Kacey Franz had 10 assists, while freshman Gretchen Vandermeer registered nine, and junior Michelle Meehan led the team with 21 digs, for her seventh game with at least 20 digs this season.

Rochester (N.Y.) 3, Salisbury 2

Salisbury went the distance against Rochester, eventually falling in five sets, 14-25, 25-20, 19-25, 25-19, 19-17.

After the teams traded the first six points of the first set, they were tied, 3-3, before a kill by Buttry and five-straight Rochester attack errors built a 9-3 lead for the Sea Gulls.

SU's lead never fell below five points for the rest of the set, and with a 15-10 lead, the Gulls went on a 10-4 run to take the 1-0 lead.

Freshman Shannon Russell registered two kills during the final run, before Vandermeer tallied a kill for the final point of the set.

After dropping the second set, Salisbury rebounded to take a 2-1 lead after the third game.

With the score tied, 3-3, in the third, the Gulls went on a 10-2 run to gain a 13-5 lead. Stouffer, the team-leader with 15 kills in the match, registered three for the final three Sea Gull points during the run.

Rochester didn't let Salisbury's lead grow any larger than eight points and, eventually, cut the lead to 23-19 to get within four points, but another kill by Stouffer and a Yellowjacket attack error ended the game in SU's favor.

The Sea Gulls took an 8-6 lead in the fourth set, but Rochester went on a 13-4 run to take a 19-12 lead, before taking the game and forcing a fifth set.

The Yellowjackets took an 11-6 lead in the fifth set, but Salisbury would not go down without a fight, riding two kills by junior Julie Poston and one by Smith (13 kills) in a 5-0 run that tied the game.

Another kill by Smith and two more by Stouffer kept the set going as the teams traded points until it was tied 17-17, but two Sea Gull attack errors eventually allowed Rochester to take the match.

Franz and Vandermeer both tallied 21 assists, while Meehan registered 23 digs to lead the Gulls.

Salisbury will continue the Blue Jay Classic on Saturday with its final two matches of the weekend tournament; the Gulls will open the day at 12:30 p.m., against Cairn University.

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