FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – The Salisbury University volleyball team saw its season come to an end on Thursday evening, suffering a tough 3-2 defeat at the hands of top-seeded University of Mary Washington in the Capital Athletic Conference Semifinals.
Three different players tallied double-digit kills led by Nicole Venturelli, who posted a team-best 19. Meanwhile, Chloe Adam and Carley Cleland each recorded double-digit kills, posting 18 and 13, respectively. It is just Adam's second double-digit kill performance of the season and marks a career-best.
Salisbury (16-11) jumped out to an early lead for the second straight match, winning a thrilling win-by-two opening set, 27-25. Venturelli tallied a team-best six kills in the first set while Adam and Cleland combined for five, tallying three and two, respectively. As a team the Sea Gulls hammered home 16 team kills and posted a hitting percentage of .257.
After Mary Washington battled back to level the match at 1-1 the Sea Gulls regained their offensive momentum and took set three by the final score of 25-22. Salisbury totaled 19 kills and a posted hitting percentage of .378 while limiting the Eagles to just 10 kills. The maroon and gold led the whole way, leading by as many as three on four separate occasions. Cleland hammered home a team-high six kills, including the set winner to push Salisbury out to a 2-1 advantage while Venturelli and Adam each totaled five.
The Eagles rallied back to capture the fourth set, 26-24, as the teams battled back-and-forth throughout. Adam's fourth kill of the set helped Salisbury push its lead to 17-15, before a three-point run by the Eagles gave the home team the lead. Venturelli totaled four kills in the set as well, with her fourth kill putting the Gulls on the brink of closing out the match at 24-23. However, another three-point scoring run by Mary Washington helped swing the match back in its favor leveling the score line at 2-2.
Mary Washington dominated the fifth set to earn the victory using scoring runs of 4-0 and 5-0 to close out the match. The Sea Gulls tallied three kills to the Eagles six while the maroon and gold were held to a hitting percentage of -.105 and Mary Washington posted a mark of .267.
Hailey Dougherty led the defensive effort with 19 digs while Cleland posted another team-best eight blocks and Hannah Sullivan chipped in with seven of her own. Rachel Dubbs led the team with 55 assists as the team tallied 60 for the match.