SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University volleyball team took on eastern shore rival Washington College on Wednesday night in the Sea Gulls' home opener. The maroon and gold up ended their counterpart snapping the Shorewomen's perfect 4-0 start to the season, downing them in three straight sets.
Nicole Venturelli led all players with a match-high eight kills on the night while three different Sea Gulls (3-2) recorded seven kills in a balanced offensive attack. Amanda Chew, Gianna Savarese, and Carley Cleland combined for 21 of Salisbury's 35 kills in the match, while Kate Shea notched five of her own.
The team's battled back-and-forth in the opening set with the Gulls squeaking out a 25-21 victory. Trailing 20-19 late in the first set Salisbury used a 6-1 run led by kills from Savarese, Venturelli, and Chew to earn the opening set victory.
The Sea Gulls continued to roll in the second set racing out to an 8-3 lead and never letting Washington College (4-1) get closer than two points and leading by as many as 12 throughout the entire set. Salisbury used three runs of five-plus points in the set to earn the win posting a hitting percentage of .286 while holding the Shorewomen to a percentage of -.207.
In the third and final set the team's traded points early but the Gulls soon gained the upper hand using a 16-5 run to take a 20-10 lead. Three different Salisbury players tallied multiple kills during the scoring spree including two from both Venturelli and two from Savarese. The Salisbury defense once again dominated the stat sheet holding its opponent to a -.214 hitting percentage while forcing eight attacking errors in the set.
Overall, the Sea Gulls defense held Washington to -.122 hitting percentage, while tallying 10 blocks led by Savarese's four and Chew's three. Hailey Dougherty posted a team and match-best 18 digs while offensively Rachel Dubbs totaled 29 assist for the evening.
Salisbury returns to action on Friday, September 7 when it travels to our nation's capital to partake in the Catholic University Tournament. The Sea Gulls will square off against Chatham University at 2 p.m. followed by Wesley College at 4 p.m.