WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Salisbury University volleyball team picked up on Saturday where it left off on Friday at the Worthington Classic hosted by Gallaudet University, claiming two more 3-0 wins to close out play as senior Katie Stouffer was named the event's Most Valuable Player and sophomore Nicole Venturelli was also named to the All-Tournament Team.
Match 1: Salisbury 3, Rutgers-Newark 0
The Sea Gulls got things started strong in the opening set of the day, scoring the first six points against the Scarlet Raiders. Stouffer had three kills to get things started while Sydney Davis added a solo block. The lead in the first set was cut to three points at one point, but could get no closer with Stouffer notching six kills in the set and libero Shannon Russell coming up with eight digs in the 25-10 win. The Sea Gull defense held Rutgers-Newark to a -.212 hitting percentage in the opening set.
After a narrow 27-25 win in the second set, Salisbury rolled to a 25-9 win in the third to close out the win.
The second set was close throughout with 17 ties and eight lead changes; neither team could open a three-point lead at any point, but the Sea Gulls got a kill from Venturelli – one of six in the second set for her – and a ball handling error by the Scarlet Raiders to end the set. Venturelli notched nine kills in the match.
In the third, an 8-0 Salisbury run with three kills from Stouffer allowed the Sea Gulls to take a 12-3 lead and never look back. Stouffer notched seven kills in the set and finished with 20 in the match.
Russell had 18 digs in the match while Davis posted three blocks and Krista Pecenka had three service aces in the win.
Match 2: Salisbury 3, Messiah 0
Salisbury was forced to work a bit harder in the second match of the day, but ended with the same result, topping the Falcons 25-18, 25-22, 26-24.
The Sea Gulls (11-5) kept with its pattern, scoring the opening set's first six points, as Gina Fischetti had an ace and Stouffer had a pair of kills. The Salisbury lead held throughout the set near five points with Stouffer recording 10 kills on 19 swings in the opening set and adding a block.
Salisbury hit .333 in the first set and surpassed that in the second, with a .406 hitting percentage, recording just one hitting error in the narrow set. The Sea Gulls trailed 22-21, but a Stouffer kill forced the 18th tie of the set and a kill by Rachel Dubbs followed by a pair of Messiah attack errors gave Salisbury the 2-0 lead.
Messiah led through much of the final set, stretching its edge to 15-10, but the Sea Gulls chipped away, with Pecenka posting a service ace, two kills from Stouffer and a block from Stouffer and Davis as part of a 6-0 run led to a 16-15 Salisbury lead.
Messiah tied the set at 24-24, but the Sea Gulls got a block from Venturelli and Samantha Chubb to take the lead and Stouffer fittingly ended the match with her 21st kill of the match and 68th of the weekend.
Venturelli had eight kills in the match with Dubbs handing out 30 assists and freshman Hailey Dougherty notching four service aces.
The Sea Gulls next head to York College of Pennsylvania on Friday, September 30 for each team's Capital Athletic Conference opener. That match is slated to begin at 7 p.m.