Sea Gulls give No. 1 CNU a test in home opener

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University volleyball team played its first home match of the 2012 season, hosting No. 1 Christopher Newport University on Tuesday night. While Salisbury would ultimately take a 3-0 loss, the Gulls gave the top-ranked team in the national all it could handle in each of the three games in front of a raucous crowd of 600 at Maggs Physical Activities Center.

Salisbury was tied or held the lead with at least 19 points in each set, but the Captains were too much on Tuesday, claiming a 25-23, 25-22, 25-23 victory.

Christopher Newport would take the early lead in the first set, though the Captains' edge would grow to no more than a 12-8 score. Salisbury (4-1) began to claw away, starting with an assisted block by seniors Chelsea Glowacki and Carley Todd. The block set off a 10-2 run, with sophomore Mattie Smith's kill tying the score at 14-14 and a pair of CNU attack errors allowing Salisbury to go up 18-14.

Smith notched four of her eight kills on the night during the first set and Todd had a pair of blocks in the first.

Salisbury held its lead at 20-19 before a pair of Bailey Jensen kills allowed the Captains (5-0) to close the set on a 6-3 run to take the first set.

CNU carried its late-set momentum into the second, opening to a 6-2 lead, prompting a Salisbury timeout. The Captains collected the next point and the lead remained near the five-point mark until the Sea Gulls made another run.

Down 19-13, a Jensen service error sparked a 6-0 SU run to tie the set. Freshman setter Lindsay Tapley had a pair of assists during the spurt while senior Jenna Shay knotted the game with a kill for a 19-19 tie.

Shay and junior Tam Weems combined for a block during the run.

Salisbury would lead one more time in the set, 21-20, following a Shay kill, but three attack errors in the next four points would give CNU the set and a 2-0 lead.

The Sea Gulls were not going to go quietly in the third set, breaking out to a 7-3 lead early in the set with a pair of kills by freshman Ashlyn Tapley. Ashlyn Tapley registered four of her team-high nine kills in the third set.

This time is was the Captains' turn to gradually get back into the set; CNU was able to pull even at 16-16. The set was tied seven more times, but the Captains got kills from Cory Harris and Brooke Moore to close out the 25-23 win.

Todd and Shay each finished with seven kills while sophomore Michelle Meehan finished with 13 digs and senior Kelly Vieira had 10.

Salisbury will be back in action this Friday and Saturday at the Buttermaker Tournament, hosted by Muhlenberg College.

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