Sea Gulls upset No. 13 Christopher Newport

Sea Gulls upset No. 13 Christopher Newport

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Salisbury University volleyball team defeated No. 13 Christopher Newport University 3-1 on Friday night.

The Sea Gulls' victory snapped the Captains' 138 consecutive regular season league matches winning streak dating all the way back to 2006. The run is ranked as the fifth-longest streak in the history of collegiate volleyball and third longest active streak. It trails only Juniata (361) and Wheeling Jesuit (148).

After dropping the opening set 27-25 Salisbury (14-5, 3-0 Capital Athletic Conference) rallied off three straight wins to earn the crucial CAC victory. The Sea Gulls posted a hitting percentage of .405, tallying 17 kills but more importantly committed only two errors in the opening set while Christopher Newport (16-5, 3-1 CAC) committed five.

In the second set the Sea Gulls held the Captains' attack to a team hitting percentage of -.059, forcing nine errors. After jumping out to a 3-0 lead Salisbury fell behind 11-8 midway through the set. However, a 17-6 overall run by the Sea Gulls, including a 10-2 spurt, closed out the set and helped them pull even in the match, 1-1. Four different Salisbury players tallied kills during the scoring run and Hailey Dougherty recorded back-to-back service aces to aid in the victory.

Salisbury led the whole way in the third set earning a 25-20 victory. The Sea Gulls jumped out to a 13-3 advantage behind three kills by Katie Stouffer and three consecutive service aces from Dougherty. The Captains battled back to pull within four, 21-17, but Salisbury tallied four of the final seven points behind three kills from Nicole Venturelli to earn the victory and take the 2-1 lead into the fourth set. Overall, in the set the Sea Gulls hit .158, tallying 12 kills to Christopher Newport's 10.

In the fourth and final set Salisbury needed to rally from behind to claim the match. After jumping out to a 16-9 advantage the Captains stormed back to take a 20-18 lead and looked as if they were going to force a decisive fifth set. Stouffer tallied her fourth kill of the set to spark a 7-3 run by the Sea Gulls. Venturelli tallied the match's final point when she hammered home her only kill of the set to complete the upset.

Overall, the Sea Gulls tallied 45 kills and posted a team hitting percentage of .196, but held the dangerous Christopher Newport attack to a hitting percentage of .121 forcing 31 errors. Stouffer led the Salisbury attack recording a match-high 18 kills while teammate Jordan Lawson tallied the second most kills with 10 and a hitting percentage of .444. Dougherty recorded a team-high six service aces and finished tied with Gina Fischetti in digs with 14 each.

It is the Sea Gulls first win over a nationally ranked opponent since defeating No. 8 Juniata College 3-2 on October 12, 2013.  

Salisbury returns to action on Saturday, October 8 when it travels to No. 16 University of Mary Washington for a 2 p.m., match.   

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