Volleyball claims Sea Gull Classic title with two wins; Venturelli, Lawson named to All-Tournament Team

Volleyball claims Sea Gull Classic title with two wins; Venturelli, Lawson named to All-Tournament Team

SALISBURY, Md. – After a pair of hard-fought wins on Friday, the Salisbury University volleyball team rolled through a pair of 3-0 wins against Marywood University and Elizabethtown College on Saturday to claim the 2016 Sea Gull Classic championship with a 4-0 mark on the weekend.

Match 1: Salisbury 3, Marywood 0

The Sea Gull effort was never in doubt in the opening match of the day, rolling to a 25-10, 25-11, 25-12 victory against Marywood. Salisbury opened up a five-point lead within the first nine points of each set and never looked back.

In the first set, Salisbury jumped out to a 5-0 lead, and quickly added to that to make it 9-1. Gina Fischetti served the opening six points, with a pair of aces in the run and Sydney Davis had a pair of block assists. Salisbury dominated at the net in the match, registering a season-best 13 blocks with Davis accounting for five of them.

Salisbury saw senior Katie Stouffer register six kills in the opening set, while Davis had four and Jordan Lawson added three.

In the second set, the Pacers took their only lead of the match, gaining the first point and held a 2-1 lead, but the Gulls rattled off nine-consecutive points to open up a 10-2 lead with junior Rachel Pierson putting home three services aces during the run. Salisbury had six aces in the set and nine in the match.

The Salisbury lead never dipped below seven the rest of the way, with Stouffer and Davis each notching four kills.

In the third, the Salisbury defense prevailed, with six blocks, including five block assists from Gianna Savarese and four from freshman Carley Cleland, holding the Marywood attack to a -.167 hitting percentage in the set and -.025 for the match.

Stouffer finished with 14 kills, while Davis had nine, on just 13 swings. Pierson had 11 assists in the contest and Rachel Dubbs added seven with Shannon Russell putting up 10 digs. Savarese's seven block assists led the way with Cleland finishing with six.

Match 2: Salisbury 3, Elizabethtown 0

Salisbury cruised through the first two sets of its final match of the event, before battling through the third set for a 25-8, 25-14, 25-21 win.

The Sea Gulls (6-2) spread the wealth in the first set, with 13 kills – four a piece from Stouffer and Venturelli – while three others chipped in, as well. Junior Alexis Howatt dished out seven assists to open play, while registering five digs.

Salisbury took an early 8-4 lead, and closed things out with 9-2 run in the first set.

In the second, things remained close early, but it was a 11-5 run by the home team that allowed some separation.

Salisbury's defense in the set came up with 19 digs, while holding the Blue Jays (3-5) to -.081 hitting in the frame.

Stouffer was good for six more kills in the second, leading the team with 15 in the match.

The third was a closer affair, with Salisbury holding a slight edge throughout, but the Blue Jays cut their deficit to one point, down 21-20 late in the set. But Salisbury put together a 4-1 run with kills from Lawson and Davis to finish off the match.

Along with Stouffer's 15, Venturelli had 11 kills. Savarese continued her strong play at the net with four kills to go with five block assists.

The Sea Gulls claimed the title in the event, with Venturelli and Lawson named to the All-Tournament Team.

Salisbury is back in action next weekend, traveling to Lancaster, Pennsylvania for the Franklin & Marshall Tournament. The Sea Gulls take on Ohio Northern University and host Franklin & Marshall in day one action on Friday, September 16.

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