Sea Gulls prepare for CAC tournament semifinals, hosting Mary Washington

Sea Gulls prepare for CAC tournament semifinals, hosting Mary Washington

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University volleyball team is getting set to host the University of Mary Washington Eagles on Thursday in a Capital Athletic Conference semifinal match at Maggs Physical Activities Center; the match is set for 7 p.m.

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How we got here

The Sea Gulls finished second in the CAC with a 7-1 conference record, earning a bye through the first round of the tournament; SU boasts a 28-4 regular-season record.

How they got here

The Eagles travel to Salisbury as the No. 3 seed in the tournament, finishing third in the conference with a 6-2 regular-season record. UMW defeated No. 4-seeded Frostburg State University on Tuesday, 3-0, to advance to the semifinals.

Series history

Dating back to the first meeting in 1987, Salisbury and Mary Washington have competed 50 times, with the Sea Gulls holding a 34-16 advantage. At home, SU has only fallen to the Eagles twice, with a 16-2 record at Maggs PAC.

The last time we met

The two teams met earlier this season on the first day of Sea Gull Classic tournament action on Oct. 11, with Salisbury coming out on top, 3-1, at home. The Gulls took a quick 2-0 lead, winning the first two sets, 25-11 and 25-20, but UMW was able to stave off defeat by winning the third set 25-17. Salisbury ended the match with a 25-13 victory in the fourth frame. Freshman Katie Stouffer led the team with 13 kills, with a .375 hitting percentage. Four other Sea Gulls added seven kills, each, including junior Nikki Binetti, who hit a blistering .778 percent, with no errors.

Keeping it clean

Riding a current seven-match winning streak, the Sea Gulls have only dropped four of 25 potential sets to the Eagles, including four matches that ended with 3-0 sweeps. Two of those 3-0 wins have been the past two CAC semifinal matchups between the Gulls and the Eagles. Last season, the teams met three times, with Salisbury winning all three by a combined nine sets to zero.

Scouting UMW

Since the Sea Gull Classic, the Eagles have posted a 6-3 record, but have split their last six matches, 3-3. Prior to defeating Frostburg in the first round of the conference tournament, Mary Washington ended its regular season with a 3-2 loss to Susquehanna University. The team is led by senior Kaitlynn Wickersham and junior Kayla Crawford with 257 and 211 kills, respectively. Crawford posted 11 kills to lead the Eagles over FSU, while Wickersham led the defense with 13 digs.

What's next

The CAC championship match awaits the winner of Thursday's contest against the winner of the other semifinal match between No. 1-seed Christopher Newport University and No. 4-seed Marymount (Va.) University.  

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