SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University volleyball team opens the 2015 Capital Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday evening, hosting a semifinal match. After earning a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed in the tournament, the Sea Gulls will host No. 3 University of Mary Washington at Maggs Physical Activities Center at 7 p.m.
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How we got here
The Sea Gulls earned the conference's second seed with an 8-1 record in CAC play this season. Salisbury clinched the No. 2 spot with a 3-1 win on October 28 against Marymount (Va.) University and is currently on a nine-match winning streak. During the span, the Gulls have only dropped three sets, finishing out a 23-7 overall regular-season record.
How they got here
Mary Washington finished the regular season with a 7-2 record, with a key win over Marymount, 3-2, on October 24 to earn the third seed in the conference tournament. The Eagles hosted a first-round game on Tuesday, November 3 against No. 6 Frostburg State University, pulling out a 3-1 win. Rachel Hendricks led the way with 16 kills, while Emma Murphy posted 10 kills. Mary Washington enters Thursday's match on a seven-match winning streak.
Last time we met
Salisbury will host Mary Washington on October 10 in the Gulls' first home conference match of the season, taking a 3-1 victory, which began the nine-game winning stretch. The Sea Gulls took the first set 25-22, before dropping the second set. They went on to take the final two games 25-15 and 25-21. Junior Katie Stouffer led the way with 12 kills, while junior Jordan Lawson and sophomore Sydney Davis chipped in with 11 and 10, respectively.
Scouting Mary Washington
The Eagles are led by junior Emma Olsen, who is a triple threat on the court. She is the team's setter with 914 assists, but she also ranks second on the team with 299 digs and fourth with 162 kills. She is also fourth on the team with 38 total blocks. Rachel Hendricks leads the team with 364 kills, and Jenna Yost paces the defense with 474 digs. Mary Washington ranks second in the CAC with 12.26 kills per set and 210 total blocks.
Make a killing
Stouffer has been the leader for Salisbury's offense all season, ranking her among the best in the country for hitters. She currently ranks third with 5.03 kills per set and fourth in total kills with 508. Stouffer ranks at the top of the CAC with her kills per set average and a .337 hitting percentage. She also ranks second in the league in total kills.
The winner of Thursday's match will advance to the conference championship against the winner of the other semifinal match between first-seeded Christopher Newport University and fourth-seeded St. Mary's College of Maryland. The championship contest will take place on Saturday, November 7; the time is to be announced.