Sea Gulls win first two matches of Hunter Invitational

Sea Gulls win first two matches of Hunter Invitational

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Salisbury University volleyball team opened the Hunter College Invitational on Friday night with two wins, defeating Sarah Lawrence College 3-0 and Montclair State University 3-1 on the first day of action.

Salisbury 3, Sarah Lawrence 0 (25-2, 25-5, 25-7)

The Sea Gulls started the tournament with a three-set sweep of Sarah Lawrence, only giving up 14 points in the three sets.

Junior Shannon Russell led the team with six kills, while junior Katie Stouffer added five.

Junior Gina Fischetti paced the defense with four digs, and sophomore Rachel Pierson led with 15 assists.

As a team, the Gulls totaled 24 service aces, and freshman Kelly Surkovich tallied eight to lead the way.

Salisbury 3, Montclair 1 (16-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-16)

After a close beginning to the first set, Montclair closed the game on a 14-8 run to take a 1-0 lead in the match, but that was all the Sea Gulls would give up, winning the final three sets.

Stouffer scored the second set's first point on a kill, but the teams traded points in the opening moments of the game until the score was tied 10-10.

The Red Hawks took a 12-10 lead, but kills from junior Kirby Given and freshman Nicole Venturelli and a service ace from Stouffer regained the lead for Salisbury 13-12.

The lead was traded two more times, but with the score tied 19-19, a Stouffer kill sparked a 6-0 closing run, allowing Salisbury to tie the match 1-1. Stouffer notched another kill in the spurt, while sophomore Samantha Chubb hit three service aces.

Salisbury took early control in the third set, as Stouffer tallied four kills and a service ace to help the Sea Gulls take a 7-4 lead.

Montclair fought back to take a 10-9 advantage, but kills from Stouffer and Venturelli flipped the score, 12-10, in Salisbury's favor.

Much like the second game, the teams traded leads twice more, until a closing run for Salisbury, this time 7-1, earned the Gulls the win and match lead.

A kill from Pierson started the stretch, while Venturelli tallied two kills. Given and Chubb both added a kill, and Fischetti notched a service ace.

The Sea Gulls gained a quick lead in the final set and never looked back, as Stouffer put down a kill to begin a 5-1 opening spurt. Sophomore Sydney Davis tallied a kill to the run, and Pierson hit a service ace.

The Red Hawks were able to cut the lead to 9-8, but a Venturelli kill started another Salisbury run, pushing the lead to 15-10.

Montclair would get as close as four points the rest of the way, and Venturelli notched four more kills in Salisbury's final seven points to cap the set and take the match.

Venturelli and Stouffer both registered 16 kills in the match to lead the team, while senior Kacey Franz and Russell paced the defense with 12 digs, each. Pierson led the team with 44 assists.

Salisbury continues the two-day event on Saturday, September 26, taking on host Hunter at 9 a.m.

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