SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 24 Salisbury University volleyball team earned a pair of wins on the opening day of the Sea Gull Classic at Maggs Physical Activities Center, taking down Centenary (N.J.) College and Gallaudet University.
Sophomore libero Michelle Meehan set the pace in the opening set of the 3-0 win against Centenary. With the Sea Gulls up 8-4, following a kill by senior Chelsea Glowacki, Meehan stepped to the service line.
She would not leave that spot until Salisbury had put together a 9-0 run, which included ideal placement of Meehan's serve, resulting in five aces during the stretch, which put the Sea Gulls up 17-4; Salisbury would cruise to a 25-12 win in the opening set. Meehan had seven aces in the match and three digs.
The second set would turn out to be the closest of the match, with the score tied at 14-14 before the Sea Gulls put together another run. Sophomore Jess Wittwer set off the 7-2 spurt with a kill off an assist from senior Carley Todd.
Todd had her own kill during the run and senior Kristin Jehle put away one of the final shots to push Salisbury's lead to five on their way to a 25-19 win. Jehle led the way for the Gulls in the set with four kills while Todd added three and finished the match with a team-high six kills to go with 12 assists, six service aces and five blocks. Glowacki also had six kills in the match.
The third game remained tight until another Salisbury run, this time a 13-1 spurt, sparked by an Ashlyn Tapley kill, which put the Gulls up 19-6.
In the nightcap, Salisbury needed a bit more time to get through Gallaudet (8-3). After Salisbury took the first two, 25-18 and 25-22, the Bison came back for a 25-20 win in the third game. Salisbury trailed early in the fourth, but rallied for the 25-21 victory.
The first set remained as close as the rest until a 9-2 run by Salisbury opened up a bit of breathing room at 17-10. The run featured a number of errors, but a Glowacki kill and an ace by Tapley finished off the burst.
Tapley led the way for the Sea Gulls in the match, ripping a career-best 16 kills. She added 10 digs for a double-double while Todd came up just short of a triple-double, registering 18 digs, seven kills and a career-high 39 assists.
Salisbury (11-1) trailed by as many as eight in the second set before chipping away at the lead. The Bison lead was down to three when Todd, Tapley and senior Kelly Vieira registered three consecutive kills to tie the set at 19-19.
Gallaudet would led again by two, 22-20, but Salisbury closed on a 5-0 run with three of the kills coming from senior Jenna Shay, who notched five of her eight kills in the set.
The fourth set went in Gallaudet's favor despite eight ties and five lead changes. The Bison used a 4-0 run midway through the set to get out to a 19-15 lead and held on for the win.
Gallaudet was ready to force a fifth set, leading 10-8 in the fourth, but Salisbury was not going to let this one get away. Tapley set off a 6-4 run, which included a pair of Vieira blocks, to put the Gulls up 14-12. The set was within one point once more, but the Sea Gulls protected their advantage for a 25-21 victory.
Salisbury will close out play in the classic on Saturday, hosting Baldwin Wallace University at noon and DeSales University at 2 p.m.