SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University volleyball team has punched its ticket to its third-consecutive Capital Athletic Conference championship game, looking for its third-straight conference championship, on Saturday at Christopher Newport University; the match is set for 3 p.m.
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How we got here
The second-seeded Sea Gulls advanced after defeating the No. 3-seed University of Mary Washington in the semifinal round, 3-2 (25-27, 25-16, 22-25, 25-20, 17-15). Senior Tam Weems and junior Julie Poston both registered 16 kills to lead the team in the match.
How they got here
Christopher Newport, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, defeated No. 4-seed Marymount (Va.) University, 3-1, to earn its right to play for the conference championship in the Captains' first season in the CAC. CNU earned a first-round bye in the tournament as the top seed before playing the Saints in the semifinals.
The Sea Gulls and the Captains have played an even series, with CNU holding a slight 12-11 advantage in the teams' 23 meetings. Salisbury owned the series, winning the first nine matchups, but since then, Christopher Newport had won 12-of-14 meetings, including the last seven.
The last time we met
After joining the CAC this season, CNU handed Salisbury its only conference loss this year, 3-1, at Christopher Newport. Salisbury dropped the first two sets, 27-25 and 25-16 but took the third set 25-20 to force a fourth. The Captains won the match with a 25-16 fourth set score. Junior Mattie Smith and freshman Katie Stouffer led the Gulls with nine and eight kills, respectively.
Salisbury is looking for its third-consecutive CAC crown, after winning the conference championship in 2011 and 2012. Head Coach Justin Turco now looks to guide SU back to the top in his first season at the helm. The Sea Gulls began their current stretch of CAC glory with a 3-0 win over former-conference member Stevenson University in 2011, before defeating Marymount (Va.) University with another 3-0 sweep last season.
The Captains enter today boasting a 23-12 overall record and an 8-0 record during the regular season in the conference. Against CAC opponents, CNU only dropped two sets in eight matches, with one of the losses coming to the Sea Gulls in a 3-1 victory over SU. Christopher Newport is led by freshman Briana Sutton and senior Chastity Lacy; Sutton leads the team with 269 kills, while Lacy has a team-high 336.5 points. Lacy is second on the team with 231 kills and leads the Captains with 123 total blocks, while averaging 3.12 points per set.
The winner of the CAC championship will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament, with the runner up looking to earn an at-large bid. The Sea Gulls will be looking for their third-straight NCAA berth.