Sea Gulls close ASICS Invitational with 3-0 sweep of Red Dragons

Sea Gulls close ASICS Invitational with 3-0 sweep of Red Dragons

HUNTINGDON, Pa. - The Salisbury University volleyball team closed the ASICS Invitational at Juniata College on Saturday morning with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-17) victory over University of New York at Cortland.

Junior Kacey Franz got the Sea Gulls off to a fast start, tallying three-straight service aces, following a Cortland attack error to give SU a quick 4-0 lead. After another Red Dragons' error, the first kill from sophomore Katie Stouffer continued the opening run, which eventually put the Gulls ahead 10-1.

Cortland countered with three-consecutive points, but a set of kills from Stouffer, who led the team with 13 in the match, sparked an 11-5 run that put Salisbury ahead by double digits, 21-9.

Three kills from Stouffer and senior Julie Poston, each, led the stretch, while senior Michelle Meehan ripped off two-straight service aces, on the way to the Sea Gulls taking a 25-15 first-set victory.

The Red Dragons took the early lead in the second game, 11-7, but an 8-0 run by the Sea Gulls flipped the score, 15-11, in SU's favor.

Senior Nikki Binetti's service ace began the stretch, while two more kills from Stouffer, one on each end of a kill from freshman Rachel Pierson, capped the set-changing spurt.

Three errors allowed Cortland to cut the lead to one, 15-14, but Salisbury pushed the advantage back to six, as Stouffer started a 5-0 run with another kill.

A block from Poston and freshman Samantha Chubb ended the stretch to put the Gulls up 20-14.

Chubb continued to make an impact in the set with two kills, while junior Colleen White tallied another, to give Salisbury the set win, 25-20, and a 2-0 lead in the match.

The third set remained close through the early stages, with Salisbury holding a slight 12-11 lead, but another Binetti service ace and two more Stouffer kills ended a 5-0 spurt, giving the Sea Gulls a 17-11 advantage.

The Sea Gulls continued to hold the lead to four or more before sophomore Tori Brokaw notched a service ace to close the set, 25-17, allowing SU to take the match.

Pierson, who was named to the weekend's All-Tournament team, finished the match with a team-high 23 assists, and Franz led the Gulls with seven digs; the duo both tallied three service aces to tie for the team lead.

Salisbury will be back in action on Friday, traveling to Eastern University for its final tournament of the season, as the Sea Gulls and the Eagles will square off in a match set for 7 p.m.

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