SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University volleyball team is headed for its fourth-straight Capital Athletic Conference championship game in a rematch of last year's title game, traveling to top-seeded Christopher Newport University on Saturday, November 8; the match is set to begin at 3 p.m.
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How we got here
The sixth-seeded Sea Gulls took down their second-straight higher seeded opponent in second-seeded Southern Virginia University in a CAC semifinal match to advance to the championship contest. Salisbury was led by a balanced attack, as senior Julie Poston (nine kills) and sophomore Katie Stouffer (eight kills) led the team on offense, and senior Michelle Meehan's 18 digs paced the defense.
How they got here
The Captains outlasted the fifth-seeded Seahawks of St. Mary's College of Maryland in the other conference semifinal match 3-2 (25-17, 24-26, 24-26, 25-17, 16-14). Trailing 14-13 in the final set, CNU tallied three-consecutive points to win the match. The Captains were led by Hannah Miller's 15 kills and Brooke Moore's 14 digs.
The Sea Gulls and Captains have gone head-to-head 25 times in their histories, dating back to 1983, but the matchup has taken on new meaning in recent years, as CNU joined the CAC for the 2013 season. In conference play, Christopher Newport has won both matchups, while holding a 14-11 all-time advantage over the Gulls. The teams met in the 2013 CAC championship, with CNU winning the match 3-0.
The last time we met
CNU visited Maggs Physical Activities Center earlier this season on September 30, as the Captains got the best of the Sea Gulls 3-2 (26-24, 23-25, 26-24, 23-25, 15-7). Stouffer led SU with 24 kills, her third-highest total of the year, while Poston added 13. Freshman Rachel Pierson set a career high with 46 assists in the contest.
Take some off the top
The Sea Gulls began their conference season with four-straight losses, setting up their run into the CAC tournament. With a 3-0 victory over Southern Virginia on October 18, the Gulls began their climb back up the CAC standings with five-straight wins, including the regular-season finale sweep of Frostburg State University to become the sixth seed in the tournament. In the tournament, Salisbury took down third-seeded Marymount (Va.) University and second-seeded SVU, now getting a shot at first-seeded Christopher Newport.
The winner of the title match will gain the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III tournament regional round as the CAC champions. Without a win, the Sea Gulls or Captains would await the NCAA Selection Show on Monday, November 10, which will take place at 11 a.m.