Salisbury earns wins against Rivier and Virginia Wesleyan in tri-match

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 20 Salisbury University volleyball team earned a pair of wins in a tri-match at Maggs Physical Activities Center on Saturday, rolling to a 3-0 win against Rivier University and coming from behind to top Virginia Wesleyan College, 3-2.

In the opener, against Rivier, the Raiders claimed the opening point of the first set on a kill from Kenna Finlayson, but it was all Sea Gulls from that point on.

Senior Kelly Vieira came up with a kill on the next point to tie things up and, though the set would be tied once more, Salisbury would not trail again. A 12-1 run by the Gulls, featuring two kills by junior Julie Poston and two aces by sophomore Michelle Meehan, allowed Salisbury to take a 14-3 lead and cruise to the first set, 25-8.

Rivier opened the second set on a run of its own, scoring the first six points before Salisbury rallied. Senior Kristin Jehle ripped the first kill of the set for the Sea Gulls. But the Raiders would push their match-best lead to 9-2.

An attack error by the Raiders and another Vieira kill got the deficit back to five. Rivier retained the lead through much of the set before Salisbury put together a run that would bring the momentum back and seal the set. It was an 8-2 run, started by a kill from freshman Ashlyn Tapley, one of her team-high 11 in the match, and finished on a block by seniors Carley Todd and Chelsea Glowacki, which turned a five-point deficit into a 17-16 lead.

The Raiders would tie the set one more time before Salisbury closed things out on a 6-3 run, 25-22.

The momentum carried into the final set as the Sea Gulls scored the first four points and never looked back, heading to a 25-15 win.

To go with her 11 kills, Tapley also had nine digs. Todd notched a match-best 29 assists along with five kills.

In their second contest of the day, the Sea Gulls grabbed a 25-19 win in the opening set against Virginia Wesleyan, led by six kills from Tapley, before the Marlins rallied for the next two sets.

The second set was tied 12 times and featured five lead changes, the final one coming on a Salisbury attack error, giving the Marlins a 19-18 lead. Virginia Wesleyan would take six of the next nine points to claim the set.

The third set was nearly as close, with the teams tied at 21, 22 and 23, but a kill by Kala Guy and a dual block from Krista Sessoms and Toery Garin gave the Marlins the 2-1 set lead.

But the final two sets belonged to Glowacki and the Sea Gulls (21-1). The fourth set stood deadlocked at 15-15 before the Gulls put together a run. Junior Tam Weems, playing in her first set of the match, ripped a kill to tie the set and Salisbury claimed the next three points, including back-to-back Vieira kills, to lead 18-15.

After the Marlins cut the edge to 19-17, Glowacki came up with two of her five kills in the set, to push Salisbury to a 25-21 win and force the deciding fifth set.

Salisbury scored the first two points of the set, on a Glowacki kill and block by Glowacki and Todd. The set was tied seven times, but Salisbury trailed just once, at 5-4.

A Virginia Wesleyan attack error and Tapley service ace gave Salisbury the lead, 6-5, and the Sea Gulls would not trail again. Glowacki had three more kills in the set, which Salisbury won 15-12, as she posted nine of her team-best 18 kills in the final two sets. Glowacki also had a team-best 21 digs in the contest.

Todd put up a career-best 52 assists in the match while Tapley finished with 16 kills and four aces. Vieira and senior Jenna Shay each had 10 kills.

The Sea Gulls will be off until Oct. 10, when they host Johns Hopkins University. That match will begin at 7 p.m.

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