SALISBURY, Md. – Salisbury University women's volleyball claimed a pivotal Capital Athletic Conference victory on Saturday afternoon defeating visiting St. Mary's College of Maryland 3-1. The Sea Gulls now sit in sole possession second place in the tight CAC standings and playoff race.
Salisbury (16-6, 5-1 CAC) captured the opening set, 27-25, to earn the 1-0 advantage. While both teams were similar in stats recording 15 and 14 kills respectively it was the Sea Gulls who held the edge in hitting percentage, .231-.167, and recording three fewer errors, 8-5, that helped earn the win. Four different players recorded kills in the set for Salisbury including five by Katie Stouffer.
In the second set the Sea Gulls raced out to an 11-4 advantage and looked to be in control of the set. However, after a St. Mary's (18-8, 3-2 CAC) timeout the Seahawks rallied back to pull within three, 12-9. A 5-1 scoring run sparked by kills from Jordan Lawson and Stouffer stretched the Salisbury advantage to 17-10. Once again though, St. Mary's rallied back to pull within five, 22-17 but kills from both Lawson and Nicole Venturelli over the final four points helped seal the second set victory. The Sea Gulls recorded 18 kills in the set and posted a hitting percentage of .308.
The Seahawks battled back to force a fourth set in another exciting win by two set, earning a 26-24 victory. The Sea Gulls totaled a match-low hitting percentage of .094 but totaled almost twice the amount of kills as St. Mary's, 17-9. However, it was the errors that did in Salisbury, committing 12 in the set to the Seahawks' four.
In what proved to the decisive fourth set the Sea Gulls rolled to 25-20 victory to claim the match. After falling behind early in the set 5-1 Head Coach Justin Turco called a timeout to regroup and refocus his team. The move worked as Salisbury rallied off 18 of the next 25 points including a 6-0 run to jump out to a 19-12 advantage. During the scoring spree four different players found ways to score with Stouffer tallying five points, three of which came in a row, and Hailey Dougherty tallying a service ace. St. Mary's battled back to pull within two late in the set, 20-18, but two kills by Venturelli and errors on the Seahawks sealed the win for the Sea Gulls.
Overall, Salisbury totaled a team hitting percentage of .233 while holding St. Mary's to a hitting percentage of .140, its sixth lowest of the season. Venturelli tallied a math-high 21 kills while Stouffer added 18 of her own. Sydney Davis totaled 17 kills and posted a hitting percentage of .395. Lawson and Samantha Chubb combined for 13 blocks on the afternoon with Chubb tallying a match-high eight. Dougherty rounded out the superb play by Salisbury totaling 21 digs while Shannon Russell finished second on the team with 19.
Salisbury will return to action on October 22 when it will travel to Washington (Md.) College for two matches against Franklin & Marshall College and Washington College. Those matches are scheduled to start at 2 and 4 p.m. The Sea Gulls lost to F&M, 3-0, earlier in the season at the F&M Scramble.