Sea Gulls fall to UMass Boston, Williams in first day of tournament

Sea Gulls fall to UMass Boston, Williams in first day of tournament

BOSTON – The Salisbury University volleyball team played its first matches on the road Friday night in the UMass Boston Invitational, falling to University of Massachusetts Boston, 3-1, and Williams College, 3-0.

UMass Boston 3, Salisbury 1

The Sea Gulls jumped out to a quick lead in the first set, as three Beacon errors and two kills from sophomore Katie Stouffer pushed the score to 5-0.

After the help of a kill by freshman Samantha Chubb and an assisted block by Chubb and senior Julie Poston, SU was able to keep the lead at 9-4, however, four errors by the Sea Gulls aided in allowing UMass Boston to tie the score, 10-10.

The teams traded points until the Beacons used a service ace to gain the lead for good, 13-12, as they took the first set, 25-21.

UMass Boston took the initial lead in the second set 9-7, but a kill from senior Nikki Binetti sparked a 3-0 run that gave the Sea Gulls the lead, 10-9. The Beacons tied the score again 10-10, but an attack error gave Salisbury back the lead, which the Gulls would hold to tie the match.

An 8-4 run, started by two-consecutive service aces by sophomore Shannon Russell grew the lead to 19-14.

UMass Boston cut the lead to 21-20, but a kill from freshman Rachel Pierson sparked the final run to give SU the 25-23 victory.

The teams were tied 9-9 in the third set, but the Beacons took control and ended the game on a 16-3 run to gain a 2-1 advantage, 25-12.

Looking to tie the match, Salisbury had to fight back in the fourth set, as the Beacons held an 18-13 lead, but a 9-1 run put the Sea Gulls ahead by three.

Russell and senior Michelle Meehan both notched service aces in the stretch, while Stouffer grabbed another kill; she totaled seven in the match to tie Poston for most on the squad.

UMass Boston was able to tie the set 24-24, before taking the match with a 27-25 fourth-set win.

Pierson led the team with 23 assists, while Meehan totaled 23 digs, as she now sits at No. 5 in program history with 1,598 digs for a career.

Williams 3, Salisbury 0

Williams took an early 4-0 lead in the first set, but a kill by Russell for Salisbury's first point and two Eph errors cut the lead to two, 5-3.

The Sea Gulls kept the set close, and a Stouffer kill helped SU get to within one, 12-11, but Williams finished the set on a 13-4 run to take the game, 25-16.

The Ephs jumped out to another 4-0 lead in the second set. The Sea Gulls used an 8-4 run, capped by a kill by Stouffer, followed by a service ace by Binetti and a kill by junior Kacey Franz, to tie the score 8-8.

Williams regained the lead and pushed it to 17-12, but another SU run tied the score 21-21.

A kill by Russell sparked the stretch, while two more kills from Stouffer and a block by Chubb and sophomore Jordan Lawson helped to knot the score.

Despite cutting the lead, Williams was able to end the set on a 4-2 run to take the second set, 25-23.

Kills from Stouffer, Lawson, and Russell kept the scored tied 3-3 in the early moments of the third set, but an 11-1 run by the Ephs built a 10-point deficit for the Sea Gulls.

Williams controlled the set from there, going on to win, 25-8, for the match victory.

Stouffer led Salisbury with 10 kills, while Meehan, boosting her career number to 1,614 digs, tallied 19 in the match; Franz led the team with 13 assists.

Salisbury continues with day two of the tournament on Saturday, beginning with Western Connecticut State University at 11 a.m.

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