HOLLAND, Mich. – The historic 2012 season for the Salisbury University volleyball team came to an end on Thursday afternoon in the national quarterfinals with a 3-0 loss against Elmhurst College at DeVos Fieldhouse.
Each set was close throughout with the Bluejays claiming the win, 25-20, 25-19, 25-18.
"We ran into a great team in Elmhurst," Salisbury Head Coach Margie Knight said. "I'm extremely proud of how my team played all year long. They certainly battled out there today. Sea Gull Power is alive."
Salisbury (37-4) won more matches than any season in program history, played more matches and had the first first-team All-American in program history (senior Carley Todd). Knight claimed her 400th victory on the Salisbury bench and senior Chelsea Glowacki became the program's all-time block leader among a number of career milestones in 2012.
The Bluejays (33-7) took the early lead in the first set, 2-1, on Thursday, before Salisbury went on a 7-2 run, sparked by a kill from Todd, and her assist of freshman Ashlyn Tapley's kill on the next point gave the Sea Gulls their first lead of the match.
Tapley had two more kills during Salisbury's run as the lead grew to as many as four points, 8-4. The opening set was tied seven times and featured two lead changes, the last of which came when Neya Veasy Smith put away a kill for the Bluejays to make it 16-15. The Elmhurst lead grew to five points and Salisbury chipped away with another Todd kill, but could not draw even.
In the second set, the early action saw more back-and-forth play as the game was tied at each possible margin through 6-6 when Elmhurst went on a 5-1 run, prompting a Salisbury timeout.
The Gulls battled back, cutting the lead to two points, 12-10, on a block from Glowacki and Todd, before the Bluejays earned three of the next four points to push the lead back to four. Salisbury had three blocks in the third set and seven in the match, led by Kelly Vieira. The senior posted three blocks in the first set and four for the match (two solo).
The Bluejays held on to claim the second set, but Salisbury took the early lead in the third, 3-1, with kills from Glowacki and Todd during the spurt. The lead only lasted for a few minutes as Elmhurst charged back with four-straight kills to take a 5-3 lead before Tapley ended the run. The set would be tied three more times, on kills from Vieira and senior Jenna Shay and a block by Shay and Glowacki to make it 8-8.
Elmhurst put up the next four points and would not allow Salisbury to get within two again.
Salisbury was led in the match by Todd, who came up just short of a triple-double, with seven kills, 23 assists and a career-high-tying 22 digs. Tapley notched a match-high 10 kills to go with 10 digs for her eighth double-double of the year. Sophomore Michelle Meehan posted 11 digs in the match.
Elmhurst was paced by Megan Reynolds, Sam Szarmach and Kaitlyn Wilks, who each had nine kills. Reynolds notched seven of hers in the opening set.
The loss brings to the end the outstanding careers of five Salisbury seniors, Glowacki, Kristin Jehle, Shay, Todd and Vieira. The quintet finishes with a 124-25 record (.832 winning percentage) and accounts for five of the program's 12 All-American awards and 10 All-CAC selections.