ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. – The Salisbury University volleyball team began Capital Athletic Conference play on Wednesday night, defeating St. Mary's College of Maryland on the road in a three-set sweep (25-17, 25-17, 25-12).
The Sea Gulls took an early lead in the first set, after a kill and a service ace from junior Katie Stouffer built a 5-3 edge.
St. Mary's responded with an 11-3 run to take a 14-8 lead, forcing a Salisbury timeout. The Gulls came out of the break strong, as Stouffer tallied two kills, followed by a kill from sophomore Rachel Pierson and a service ace from freshman Kelly Surkovich, to power an 8-0 stretch to regain a 16-14 lead.
Stouffer continued to lead the way, adding three more kills and two more service aces to help the Sea Gulls grab the 1-0 match lead.
Salisbury took early control of the second set, after a Stouffer kill gave the Gulls a 2-1 lead, which they would hold for the remainder of the set. Two more Stouffer kills and a service ace led an 8-4 opening run, capped by a kill from sophomore Sydney Davis.
The Seahawks got back to within one, 9-8, but freshman Nicole Venturelli put down a kill to regain momentum for the Sea Gulls, sparking a 6-2 spurt to build the lead to 15-10.
Salisbury continued from there, as Venturelli hit three more kills, and Stouffer added two more, before a kill from Pierson gave the Gulls the second-set win for the 2-0 lead.
Stouffer again had her hand in early success for the team in the third set, opening the game with a kill. She added two more kills and paired with Davis for a block, as the Sea Gulls opened the frame on a 10-4 run. Davis and Venturelli both added kills, and junior Jordan Lawson and sophomore Samantha Chubb teamed for a block to cap the stretch.
Venturelli tallied two more kills, as Salisbury continued to push the lead to 17-7 in the final set. She finished the match with seven kills, while Stouffer led the Gulls with 18.
The Sea Gulls closed out the match on an 8-5 run, with Davis and Stouffer each adding a final kill.
Davis tallied four kills, along with three total blocks, while Pierson led the Gulls with 25 assists and 11 digs.
The Sea Gulls next travel to Christopher Newport University on Wednesday, October 7 for their next match in CAC action. It is set to begin at 7 p.m.