GETTYSBURG, Pa. – The Salisbury University volleyball team opened the season on Friday night at the Battlefield Classic, hosted by Gettysburg College, and came up with a pair of wins topping Greensboro College, 3-0, and Gettysburg, 3-2.
Match 1: Salisbury 3, Greensboro 0
The Sea Gulls found themselves in an early hole, dropping the first five points of the opening set, but bounced back to win six of the next seven points to draw even at 6-6. Rachel Dubbs had a pair of kills during the run, which led to a back-and-forth remainder of the opening set.
The teams stayed within three points of each other until Sydney Davis had a pair of service aces as part of a 6-1 run late to take the 25-22 win.
The second set saw a similar situation, with the teams close through much of the stanza until a late run allowed the Sea Gulls to pull away. Katie Stouffer and Shannon Russell served 13 of the final 17 points, combining for three aces as a 15-4 run gave Salisbury a 25-17 win.
Salisbury kept the hot streak going into the third, opening with an 11-2 run, highlighted by five Stouffer kills. The Pride held the deficit there through the set, but never threatened as the Gulls claimed a 25-18 win for the match.
Stouffer led the way for Salisbury with 17 kills, while Davis had eight and Alexis Howatt dished out 25 assists. Leading the defensive effort, Krista Pecenka had 13 digs while Samantha Chubb recorded five blocks.
Match 2: Salisbury 3, Gettysburg 2
Salisbury's final match was the only one of the day – among 12 matches at the Battlefield Classic – to go more than three sets and the fans got a thriller, with the five-set affair.
Runs in each direction defined the first set, as the Bullets opened up a 4-0 lead before a pair of kills from Davis and another from Stouffer led a 5-0 outburst for the Gulls and gave them the lead.
The teams traded three-point runs, but it was Gettysburg that had the best of the first set, 25-21.
The Bullets would maintain the lead throughout much of the second set, but Salisbury held off a pair of set-point chances, with a kill by Jordan Lawson and a block from Chubb and Howatt before two kills from Stouffer gave the Gulls a 25-24 lead. But the Bullets won four of the next five for a 28-26 win and a 2-0 lead.
Salisbury (2-0) turned things around from there, using a 6-0 run in the middle of the third set to break an 8-8 tie and grab a 14-8 lead. Stouffer and Nicole Venturelli each had kills in the spurt. Salisbury maintained the lead from there to pick up the 25-20 win.
Down through much of the fourth set, it was a late push in the fourth set that kept the match going, as Salisbury trailed 20-18, but won seven of the final eight points, including a Stouffer block and kills from Chubb before Rachel Pierson's kill, off a Stouffer assist, ended the set with a 25-21 win, forcing the fifth set.
After jumping ahead 5-1, the Sea Gulls maintained their edge, despite a late push by the Bullets. Salisbury got kills from Davis and Stouffer to finish things off in the 15-11 victory.
Stouffer posted 24 kills in the contest, with Davis getting 13 and Venturelli adding a dozen. Pierson had 30 assists with Howatt going for 20. Five Sea Gulls finished in double figures in digs, led by Russell's 27. Fischetti had 17 digs and four service aces.
The Sea Gulls return to action in the second day of the event on Saturday, September 3 taking on Carnegie Mellon University at noon and Johns Hopkins University at 2 p.m.