Stouffer moves to No. 9 in kills as Gulls sweep final day of Hunter Invitational

Stouffer moves to No. 9 in kills as Gulls sweep final day of Hunter Invitational

NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Salisbury University volleyball team finished the Hunter College Invitational on Saturday morning, defeating Hunter 3-1 and Kean University 3-0, to complete the 4-0 weekend.

Salisbury 3, Hunter 1 (17-25, 25-12, 25-21, 25-15)

After falling behind 16-10 in the first set, the Sea Gulls used two kills from junior Katie Stouffer and a kill from sophomore Sydney Davis to help cut the Hunter lead to 17-15. However, the Hawks ended the set on a 8-2 run to take a 1-0 lead.

Salisbury came back strong in the second game, taking a quick 3-1 lead on two kills from Stouffer, sandwiching a kill from junior Shannon Russell.

With two kills from freshman Nicole Venturelli and kills from sophomore Samantha Chubb and Stouffer, the Gulls continued to build a 17-7 lead.

Stouffer and Venturelli each added one more kill as the Gulls tied the match 1-1.

The Gulls started off fast again in the third set with a 9-1 run. Stouffer started with two kills for the first two points. Chubb and Stouffer combined for a block to make the score 5-0, before Chubb and sophomore Rachel Pierson capped the stretch with an assisted block.

Despite the big lead, Hunter fought back with a 14-9 run to cut Salisbury's advantage to 18-15, but kills from Stouffer and Venturelli, followed by a service ace by Stouffer, rebuilt a 21-15 edge.

Venturelli capped the set win with a kill to give the Sea Gulls a 2-1 match lead.

Hunter took a quick lead in the final set 6-2, but Venturelli powered an 8-4 run for the Gulls with two kills to tie the game 10-10.

Two-straight service aces from Russell gave the Gulls their first lead 13-11, as they closed the set on a 14-4 run.

Junior Jordan Lawson notched two kills in the closing spurt, and Chubb tallied the final point with a kill for the win.

Stouffer led the team with 17 kills, while Venturelli added 11. Freshman Kelly Surkovich led the defense with 14 digs, and Pierson tallied 40 assists.

Salisbury 3, Kean 0 (25-17, 25-19, 26-24)

Stouffer continued her strong day with four kills in the opening points of the first set against Kean, helping the Gulls build a 7-4 lead. She then tallied a service ace, along with a kill from Davis, to push the advantage to 10-4.

The Cougars cut the lead to two at 16-14, but Pierson notched a kill to halt the Kean comeback attempt, and Stouffer and Davis tallied two more kills, each, to help end the set in Salisbury's favor. Venturelli chipped in with three kills in the game, giving the Gulls a 1-0 lead.

Two more kills from Stouffer and one from Davis opened the second set on a 6-1 run for the Sea Gulls, but Kean again fought back to eventually get to within one at 9-8. The set remained close until three straight kills gave Salisbury a 17-13 edge. Davis put down one, before Venturelli added two straight.

Pierson and Stouffer each added a kill to help the team close the set for a 2-0 match lead.

The third game began with neither team able to build more than a one-point lead, but a kill from Venturelli and a service ace from senior Kacey Franz allowed the Gulls to push its advantage to 12-7.

The lead was built to 15-8 after an assisted block from Chubb and Stouffer and a solo block by Stouffer, before a Surkovich service ace.

A Davis kill gave Salisbury a 19-13 lead, but the Cougars roared back with an 11-5 run to tie the set at 24-24.

Salisbury was able to close the match, however, with a kill from Stouffer and a service ace from Russell.

Stouffer again led the team with 17 kills and now sits at 1,097 career kills. The total moves her to No. 9 all-time in program history past former Sea Gull Lindsay Lawson.

Venturelli and Davis also hit double-digit kills with 11 and 10, respectively, while Surkovich led with 12 digs.

Pierson added 34 assists in the match.

Salisbury now looks forward to the beginning of Capital Athletic Conference play, traveling to St. Mary's College of Maryland on Wednesday, September 30 for a 7 p.m., contest.

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