ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. - The Salisbury University volleyball team earned its first Capital Athletic Conference victory on Tuesday night, defeating St. Mary's College of Maryland, 15-6, in the fifth set to complete a 3-2 win.
The Sea Gulls opened the match, winning the first two sets 25-14, 25-19, before the Seahawks evened the contest and forced a fifth set with 25-17 and 25-21 victories in the third and fourth sets, respectively.
SU (18-3, 1-1 CAC) took an early eight-point lead in the first game with a 9-1 run after the teams were tied early, 3-3. Junior Mattie Smith, who led the Gulls with 17 kills, tallied two to start that run, as the team also benefited from six St. Mary's attack errors.
The Seahawks got back to within five points, 15-10, but more Seahawk errors and kills from junior Julie Poston and Smith powered a 10-4 run to allow the Sea Gulls to take the first set.
Salisbury opened up the second set with a 10-4 lead, as freshman Katie Stouffer tallied three kills in the early run.
Poston and Stouffer joined Smith as the other two Sea Gulls with double-digit kills, registering 10 and 13, respectively.
St. Mary's (15-4, 1-1 CAC) eventually cut the Salisbury lead to 12-11 and was able to keep the game close from there, including tying the score at 16-16.
A Stouffer kill got SU the lead back, and two kills from Poston and junior Kirby Buttry, in Salisbury's final run, led the Gulls to a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Seahawks claimed the next two sets to tie the match and force the decisive fifth set.
The Gulls found their groove as a Poston kill and two service aces by freshman Shannon Russell helped the team jump out to a 5-0 lead in the game.
Salisbury never led by less than three during the remainder of the final set, eventually pushing the lead to 12-3, with the help of two kills from Smith, before taking the game for the win.
Freshman Gretchen Vandermeer and sophomore Kacey Franz both eclipsed 20 assists, tallying 23 and 22, respectively, while junior Michelle Meehan set a career-high with 29 digs, breaking her previous high of 26 from earlier this season.
SU will next be in action on Friday, as the Sea Gulls return home to Maggs Physical Activity Center to host University of Mary Washington at 7 p.m.; the match will be part of the first-day action of this weekend's Sea Gull Classic.