Sea Gulls close out Buttermaker Tournament with two more wins

Sea Gulls close out Buttermaker Tournament with two more wins

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The Salisbury University volleyball team finished the Buttermaker Tournament at Muhlenberg College with a 4-0 record, defeating Muhlenberg 3-0 and Stevenson University 3-1 during the second day of action on Saturday afternoon, earning the tournament championship for the weekend.

Salisbury 3, Muhlenberg 0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-23)

Salisbury jumped out to an early lead in the first set, with sophomore Samantha Chubb putting down two kills to lead a 3-0 opening spurt.

The Mules came back to take a 5-4 lead, but kills from juniors Katie Stouffer and Kirby Given, followed by a Stouffer service ace regained the advantage for the Gulls at 9-6.

The Sea Gulls held the lead for the first set from there, as Stouffer tallied seven kills to lead the team in the game.

After another Chubb kill, Stouffer notched two of hers to push the lead to 16-13. Stouffer added her final three to get the score to 23-20, before freshman Nicole Venturelli hit two kills for the final two points and set win for Salisbury.

The second set began with Muhlenberg taking a 7-5 lead, but kills from Given, Venturelli, and junior Jordan Lawson flipped the score in Salisbury's favor 10-7.

Venturelli added two more kills to keep the lead at 12-10, as Salisbury again held control of the set for the rest of the frame.

Freshman Kelly Surkovich tallied two services aces, while Stouffer notched two kills to help the the Gulls within one point of a 2-0 match lead. Senior Kacey Franz grabbed the final point with a kill for the 25-20 win. 

Two kills from Stouffer and a kill from Lawson powered an 8-4 opening run for Salisbury in the third set, but the Mules would not go down without a fight.

Muhlenberg came back to tie the score at 12-12, but kills from Chubb and Venturelli, followed by two from Stouffer continued to keep a slight lead for the Sea Gulls at 16-15.

A block from Stouffer and another kill from Venturelli pushed the advantage to 19-16, but Muhlenberg again fought back to tie the score, 20-20.

The team's traded points until the score was 23-23, but two Mule errors closed the set and gave the Sea Gulls the match sweep.

Stouffer led the team with 15 kills, while Venturelli added 10, and Chubb tallied six. Sophomore Alexis Howatt led with 31 assists, and junior Gina Fischetti paced the team with 10 digs.

Salisbury 3, Stevenson 1 (25-14, 25-20, 20-25, 25-23)

The Sea Gulls continued their strong weekend with their victory over the Mustangs, led by Stouffer and Venturelli with 25 and 18 kills, respectively. Both players were named to the Buttermaker Tournament All-Tournament team for their efforts during the two-day event.

Howatt put together another strong match with 51 assists, while Surkovich set a career-high 24 digs to lead the defense.

Stouffer also added two service aces and two assisted blocks on the day.

Salisbury now looks forward to the Neumann Knights Invitational at Neumann University, beginning on Friday, September 18 with a 4 p.m., match against Lebanon Valley College.

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