SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University volleyball team will host York College of Pennsylvania on Tuesday night in first round action of the Capital Athletic Conference volleyball tournament. It is the second time in just 11 days that these two teams have met.
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How we got here
Salisbury completed the regular season with an overall record of 18-9 and a CAC record of 6-3. The Sea Gulls started the season storming out to a 10-2 record, which included wins over Swarthmore College, Moravian College, and Catholic University. After a 2-4 record to round out September the Gulls found their rhythm again especially on the offensive side posting an overall record of 6-3 through the month of October including two separate three match winning streaks.
How they got here
The Spartans posted an overall record of 19-9 while going 5-4 in the CAC. York (Pa.) got off to a hot start in the month of September posting a 13-5 record, which included wins over Messiah College, Moravian, and Penn State University-Harrisburg. After a 3-2 start in conference play the Spartans rallied off three straight victories including a 3-2 thriller over Salisbury to push their record to 5-2 in CAC play and a chance to finish as one of the top seeds in the tournament. However, York (Pa.) was swept on the final weekend of play dropping its record to 5-4 to be given the number five seed.
This will be the 46th meeting between the two teams as Salisbury boasts a 30-15 overall record against the Spartans. York (Pa.) won the first meeting between the programs back in 1977 by the final score of 3-1. The Sea Gulls own the longest winning streak in the series rallying off 15 consecutive wins from 2005 to 2016. Only twice during that win streak did the Spartans ever force a match to go five sets, 2009 and 2010, but would eventually lose both 3-2. For York (Pa.) the longest win streak in the series has been just three.
Last time we met
These two teams met just 11 days in the same venue, Maggs Physical Activity Center on the campus of Salisbury University, back on October 20. York (Pa.) jumped out to an early 2-0 lead winning the first two sets by scores of 25-20 and 26-24. In those two sets the Sea Gulls totaled only 20 kills and didn't record a hitting percentage in either set of more than .125.
However, in the next two sets Salisbury stormed back to knot the match at 2-2 winning by scores of 25-18 and 25-22. In both sets the maroon and gold totaled a combined 26 kills and hitting percentages of .294 and .235 respectively. Defensively the Gulls held the Spartans to just 22 kills and a hitting percentage of .100 in the third set.
Nicole Venturelli led the Salisbury attack with 16 kills while Sydney Davis and Lacey Swartout recorded 12 and 10 kills respectively. Davis also posted a team-high .391 hitting percentage in the match while recording another team-best five total blocks.
Scouting the Spartans
York (Pa.) offensively is led by Brooke Krebs, who has totaled 236 kills this season while averaging 2.29 kills per set. Those numbers rank 10th and 12th respectively in the conference. Madyson Whitcomb and Gabby Emeigh rank among the top in the CAC as each are top-five in three separate categories. Whitcomb ranks second in hitting-percentage posting a mark of .312 while ranking third in blocks per set with an average of 1.05. Emeigh leads the entire CAC in service aces per set averaging .70 per set while posting a total of 73 this season, which also leads the conference.
As a team York (Pa.) has totaled 1,125 kills this season while recording a conference-best 224 service aces, and posting 1,025 assists. On the defensive side the Spartans have recorded 1,480 digs and 196 blocks with an average of 1.83 blocks per set which ranks third coming in just behind Salisbury which is averaging 1.92 blocks per set.
The Sea Gulls are led by junior outside hitter Venturelli, who has posted conference best marks in kills with 424 and kills per set with 4.20. Venturelli has recorded double-digit kills in every match this season for the maroon and gold posting a season and career-high 31 kills against Frostburg State University. She has recorded 20 or more kills in three separate matches this season including the 31 kill performance back on September 30.
The winner will travel to Newport News, Va. to take on No. 23 and CAC top-seeded Christopher Newport University on Thursday, November 2. A match time has yet to be announced.