BUENA VISTA, Va. – The fifth-seeded Salisbury University volleyball team punched its ticket to the second round of the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament with a clean, 3-0, sweep of fourth-seeded Southern Virginia University on Tuesday evening in first round action.
The Sea Gulls (16-10) posted wins of 27-25, 25-13, and 25-20 to earn the sweep, totaling 37 kills and a hitting percentage of .132 while holding the Knights to just 27 kills and a .058 hitting percentage mark.
Nicole Venturelli and Carley Cleland led the Salisbury attack posting 11 and eight kills repstively, combining for 61 of the team's 118 total attacks. Cleland also posted a team-high .429 hitting percentage.
It is Venturelli's eighth double-digit kill match in the Gulls' last nine and seventh straight, while Cleland posted her seventh match of hitting .400 or better this season.
Salisbury jumped to a 1-0 lead by claiming the first set in a thrilling win by two, 27-25, victory. Venturelli hammered down a team-high five kills, including three in the final eight points of the set. Trailing 23-21, Venturelli tallied her third kill of the match to bring the score within one before tallying the final two points of the set to give the Gulls the lead.
Cleland would post a team-best three kills in the second set as the maroon and gold rolled to an easy 25-13 victory. As a team, the Sea Gulls hammered home 10 kills and posted a percentage of .217 while Southern Virginia totaled just six kills and a percentage of .000.
In what proved to be the final set, both Venturelli and Cleland combined for 10 kills with Cleland tallying a team-high six. Cleland tallied two of the final three points in the set, with the first one pushing the advantage to 24-19, and then hammered home the match-winning point to send the Sea Gulls on to the next round.
Salisbury returns to action on Thursday, November 1 when it travels to the University of Mary Washington. The match between the Sea Gulls and Eagles is scheduled for 7 p.m.