ST. MARY'S CITY, Md. – The Salisbury University volleyball team traveled to St. Mary's College of Maryland for a Capital Athletic Conference matchup on Saturday afternoon. The Sea Gulls defeated the Seahawks by the final score of 3-1.
Salisbury (14-7, 3-2 CAC) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after an opening, 25-18, first set victory. The Seahawks (3-18, 0-7 CAC) jumped out to an early, 8-5, lead and stretched their advantage to four, 14-10, midway through the opening set. However, the Sea Gulls were able to pull within one, 16-15, off a Carley Cleland kill and take the lead for good just moments later, 18-16 on a Sydney Davis service ace. After St. Mary's pulled within two, 20-18, Salisbury used three straight kills to put the match away and secure the win. Both Gianna Savarese and Nicole Venturelli tallied kills down the stretch to earn the win and put the maroon and gold ahead.
After the Seahawks rallied back to knot the match at one apiece the Sea Gulls pulled right back in front with a 25-22 victory in the third set, which Salisbury never trailed in. The Gulls raced out to an early 4-0 advantage before battling back and forth with St. Mary's, never holding a lead greater than three. Salisbury finally managed to find some traction and push its advantage to four, 18-14, behind two Venturelli kills and one from Cleland. A kill by Davis pushed the maroon and gold advantage to five, 23-18, before the Seahawks came roaring back, going on a 4-1 steak to pull within two, 24-22. Venturelli took all hope out of a comeback, hammering home the set winning kill to take a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth set Salisbury captured a 25-21 victory to seal the match. Each team traded points throughout the opening of the fourth set with neither team leading by more than two points. Trailing by two, 11-9, Davis went to work again for the maroon and gold, notching two kills to pull the set even at 12-12. Kills from Venturelli and Cleland, two each, gave Salisbury a 16-13 lead before a St. Mary's timeout. Out of the break the Seahawks went on a scoring run of their own, cutting the deficit to just two, 19-17. However, Lacey Swartout got the maroon and gold's offense clicking again, tallying a kill that sparked a 3-0 run for the Gulls, pushing the lead to five, 22-17, before back-to-back kills from Venturelli ended the set and pushed the match final.
Overall, Salisbury totaled 67 kills, 21 of which came from team-leader Venturelli. The Sea Gulls hit .218 as a team, recorded 62 assists, and posted 84 digs.
Davis finished second on the team with 14 kills while Cleland posted 13 of her own. Savarese recorded a team-high .833 hitting percentage while Davis finished second with a hitting percentage of .458. Rachel Dubbs and Alexis Howatt combined for 53 of the team's 62 total assists, posting 33 and 20 respectively.
On the defensive side Hailey Dougherty tallied a team-best 30 digs while Dubbs pitched in 12 of her own. Both Savarese and Cleland led the team with three blocks each while the team recorded 10 combined.
Salisbury returns to action on Friday, October 20 at home against York College of Pennsylvania in the team's annual Dig Pink match. The match is slated to start at 7 p.m.