Sea Gulls in top form with two wins on opening day of SU Invitational

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 18 Salisbury University volleyball team picked up two wins on Saturday during the opening day of the Salisbury University Invitational. The Sea Gulls' were in top form, hitting .319 over the two matches, 80 points better than their hitting percentage on the season, entering the day.

Salisbury defeated SUNY New Paltz in its first match of the day, 3-1, before rolling to a 3-0 win against Springfield College to close out the opening day's action.

In the opener, the Sea Gulls were able to open up a 2-0 lead, taking the first two sets 25-19 and 25-10. The Hawks came back for a 26-24 win in the third before Salisbury rolled to the 25-20 win to claim the match.

Salisbury put together a 6-0 run to open the match, which include a kill and a service ace from senior Kelly Vieira. The  Eldersburg, Md., native would notch 10 kills and 13 digs in the match.

The Sea Gulls never trailed in the first set, but New Paltz was able to cut the lead to one, 19-18, before Salisbury closed on a 6-1 run. Freshman Ashlyn Tapley put home two of her match-best 18 kills in the set-clinching run, including the final point, off an assist from senior Carley Todd, who had 41 helpers in the match.

In the second set, it was a 9-3 run midway through the frame that sealed the deal, pushing the lead to 19-7.

The third set was close throughout, but the Sea Gulls rolled through the fourth set, closing the contest on a kill by junior Julie Poston, who registered 11 kills in the match, and no errors.

In their second match of the day, the Sea Gulls battled to a first set win, 25-20, against Springfield, before cruising with wins of 25-14 and 25-11.

The Pride grabbed a 5-2 lead early before a 3-0 run, including a Tapley kill and a block by Vieira and senior Jenna Shay, tied the set. Springfield scored the next two points, but it would be the last time the Sea Gulls would trail, rattling off a 5-0 run to take the lead for good. Glowacki, who posted eight kills in the match, put home the final point of the first set and Salisbury never looked back.

The second set started out with three kills from Tapley in the first six points as the Gulls took a 4-2 lead. Tapley led Salisbury in kills against Springfield as well, putting up 13 in the match.

The set was closed on an 11-5 run and Salisbury trailed only 1-0 in the third set as the Gulls pushed their winning streak to 20 matches in a row.

Todd had another 36 assists in the match, coming up just short of a triple-double, also adding nine kills and eight digs.

Salisbury will look for its fifth tournament championship on Sunday. The Sea Gulls will take on Richard Stockton College at 10 a.m., and the University of Mary Washington at 2 p.m.

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