SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University volleyball team began its season on Tuesday night, taking on Washington (Md.) College at Maggs Physical Activities Center and falling to the Shorewomen 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-17).
Two Kristin Lee kills sparked an 8-1 run in favor of Washington to take an 8-3 lead, which it would not surrender for the rest of the set.
A kill from junior Katie Stouffer, and a service ace by sophomore Rachel Pierson helped to cut the lead to two at 8-6, but that is the closest the Gulls would get in the set, eventually falling 25-18.
The second set proved to be closer, as sophomore Samantha Chubb and Stouffer both tallied kills, along with two Shorewomen errors to jump out to a 4-2 lead.
Washington took the lead 6-5, but a 4-0 spurt for the Gulls, highlighted by a Russell service ace and a kill from freshman Nicole Venturelli, regained a 9-6 lead for Salisbury.
The Sea Gulls held the lead to 12-10, as Chubb and Venturelli each tallied another kill, but Washington used a 4-0 run of its own to again change the lead.
Salisbury would not go away, however, as a Stouffer kill and a Kacey Franz service ace helped the Gulls retake the lead for the third time, 16-15.
Neither team was able to take more than a two-point lead, until Washington led 23-20, but trailing 24-21, junior Colleen White and Venturelli tallied kills to bring Salisbury to within one 24-23.
However, Washington grabbed the last point and a 2-0 match lead.
The Shorewomen carried that momentum and took early control of the final set with a 13-5 run to start the game.
The lead reached as many as 12 at 20-8, but Salisbury continued fighting.
Trailing 23-11, Venturelli sparked a 6-0 run with her ninth kill of the night. She tallied four kills in the run, to reach her team-high of 12 on the night, while junior Krista Pecenka added a service ace.
Despite the comeback attempt, the Shorewomen were able to close the match with the final two points for a 25-17 third set.
Stouffer finished second on the team with 10 kills, while Pierson led the team with 15 assists and Franz paced the Gulls with 13 digs.
The Sea Gulls return to action over the weekend at the Swarthmore College/Haverford College Tournament. Salisbury will take on Stevenson University on Friday, September 5 at 1 p.m., in its first game of the weekend.