Volleyball rolls in opening night of Knights Invitational

Volleyball rolls in opening night of Knights Invitational

ASTON, Pa. – The Salisbury University volleyball team traveled to Neumann University on Friday to compete in the Knights Invitational. The Sea Gulls opened the two-day tournament with a first-night sweep of Moravian College and Neumann by a combined score of 6-0.

Salisbury 3, Moravian 0

For the third consecutive tournament, Salisbury got off to a 2-0 start as the Sea Gulls upended the Greyhounds (2-7) in consecutive sets by scores of 25-15, 25-20, and 25-23. Salisbury came out of the gate on fire and never looked back. In the first set the Gulls tallied 11 kills on 21 attacks, posting a hitting percentage of .381.

Nicole Venturelli led the maroon and gold offense with 18 kills for the night on 47 total attacks while also adding three block assists on the defensive end.

Freshman Lacey Swartout and junior Carley Cleland combined for 13 kills to finish second ans third on the team hitting seven and six, respectively. Cleland posted a hitting percentage of .357 to finish second on the team behind Alexis Howatt, who posted a team-high hitting percentage of .667.

Howatt also posted a team-best 17 assists in the match while Rachel Dubbs finished just behind her teammate with 13.

On the defensive side the Sea Gull defense forced 22 total attack errors while allowing only 24 kills. Salisbury also held Moravian to a team hitting percentage of only .018 which included a -.069 hitting percentage in the first set. Gianna Savarese paced Salisbury defensively with three block assists and one solo block.

As a team the Gulls totaled 41 kills on 109 total attacks, a hitting percentage of .220, tallied 38 assists, and totaled 59 digs, 24 of which came from sophomore libero Hailey Dougherty.

Salisbury 3, Neumann 0

The maroon and gold continued its winnings ways in the second match of the night battling to a three-set victory over host Neumann (2-8) outscoring the Knights 25-18, 25-21, and 25-14. Salisbury finished with 43 total kills on 102 attacks to secure the win.

For the 10th consecutive match and second time this season Venturelli tallied double-digit kills tying her season-high with 19 on 33 attacks to finish the match with a hitting percentage of .394.

Swartout finished second on the team with six kills while Cleland and Savarese combined for 10 total kills recording six and four, respectively. Samantha Chubb finished the match with a team-high .667 hitting percentage and two kills with no attack errors.

On the defensive side the Gulls were paced by both Dougherty, who totaled 12 digs, and Sydney Davis, who tallied a team-high two blocks. As a team Salisbury held the Knights to a team hitting percentage of .143 not allowing Neumann to tally a hitting percentage of .190 or better in either set while forcing 13 errors and allowing only 26 kills.

The Sea Gulls (9-1) return to action tomorrow, September 16 when they take on Cabrini University. The match is scheduled to start at 12 p.m.     

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