Sea Gulls rebound from loss to top Mary Washington, claim SU Invitational title

SALISBURY, Md. – The No. 18 Salisbury University volleyball team saw its 20-match winning streak come to a close on the second day of the Salisbury University Invitational on Sunday, falling to Richard Stockton College, 3-0. But the Gulls rebounded nicely, beginning what they hope to be another long streak with a 3-0 non-conference win against the University of Mary Washington in their second match of the day.

Salisbury, Richard Stockton and Springfield College all finished with a 3-1 record in the tournament, and each went 1-1 against the other two teams tied for the title. Salisbury earned the tournament championship, through the second tie breaker, games won divided by games lost. It marks the fifth tournament championship the Sea Gulls have won this season.

Freshman Ashlyn Tapley, who notched 46 kills over the weekend, hitting .415, to go with 20 digs, was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, while senior Kelly Vieira (22 kills, 32 digs, seven blocks and nine service aces) was also named to the All-Tournament Team.

Sunday's opening match was a battle throughout, as the Ospreys earned the three-set win, but none were by more than five points.

Richard Stockton opened the first set on a 4-1 run, and never trailed. The Sea Gulls put together a 3-0 run, including a solo block by Vieira, to tie the set at four, and a kill by Tapley tied the score at 5-5 before a 5-0 spurt by the Ospreys opened things up, giving them the first set, 25-20.

The Sea Gulls jumped out to a slight lead in the second set, with kills from seniors Jenna Shay, Chelsea Glowacki and sophomore Mattie Smith, giving Salisbury a 3-0 lead. Salisbury led by as many as five, on three occasions in the set, but Stockton would come back. The set was tied seven times, and the lead changed hands three times before the Ospreys came up with a 3-0 run to close the set, 25-23.

Neither team led by more than five in the third set, a 12-7 advantage for Richard Stockton. The Sea Gulls put together a 7-2 run to tie the set at 14-14, including a kill from junior Tam Weems and a block by Vieira and Shay. A Vieira service ace, a few points later, allowed Salisbury to take the lead, and the set would be tied twice more before the Ospreys pulled away for the 25-22 win.

Glowacki and Tapley led the way for the Gulls in the match, with eight kills each. Vieira and Todd each had eight digs while Todd added 27 assists.

In the Invitational's final match, Salisbury was never truly threatened by Mary Washington, as the Eagles could score no more than 14 points in any set and the Sea Gulls did not trail at any point.

Salisbury set the tone early, pushing ahead to an 8-1 lead in the first set on a Tapley kill. The Eagles cut the lead back to six at one point in the opening set, 9-3, but could get no closer. Another kill by Tapley and two Vieira kills were part of an 8-2 spurt which put the Gulls up 17-5 on their way to a 25-12 first-set win.

The Sea Gulls had their top hitting set of the match in the second, with a .385 performance. Glowacki and Shay combined for a block as part of a 5-1 Salisbury run to open the set. It was one of five hitting errors for Mary Washington, which hit .040 in the set. Salisbury had three blocks and 14 digs in the set, which the Gulls claimed 25-14.

Senior Kristin Jehle led Salisbury in the third set, notching three kills. She finished the day with five kills, trailing only Tapley's seven in the match, as Salisbury claimed the third set 25-14.

Todd had 19 assists while Glowacki had three block assists in the match.

Despite being a Capital Athletic Conference member, the match against Mary Washington was a non-conference contest. The Sea Gulls return to CAC play on Wednesday, hosting Wesley College. That match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

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