PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Salisbury University volleyball team completed its weekend at the Carnegie Mellon Tournament with a split defeating Case Western University but falling to University of Mount Union.
Salisbury 3, Case Western 2
The Sea Gulls picked up their first win of the tournament in a thrilling five set victory over the Spartans of Case Western (9-6). After Salisbury jumped out to a 2-0 lead the Spartans battled all the way back to tie the match at two apiece and force a decisive fifth set.
The maroon and gold cruised to a convincing 25-9 victory in the opening set totaling 14 kills and tallying a team hitting percentage of .400. Defensively the Gulls held Case Western to six kills and a hitting percentage of -.108.
The second set was a battle for both teams with Salisbury pulling away in a win by two scenario, edging Case Western 29-27. The Gulls jumped out to an early 8-3 lead but the Spartans would not be denied as they battled back to pull within one, 13-12. After a back and forth fight Case Western was one point away, 24-22, from knotting the match at one apiece but kills from Sydney Davis and Alexis Howatt tied the match and forced a win by two. With the set tied at 27-27 a service ace by Howatt and a kill from Nicole Venturelli sealed the win and put the Gulls ahead 2-0.
In the decisive fifth set Salisbury raced out to a 9-3 advantage before the Spartans battled back to pull within three, 10-7. The Sea Gulls would tally five of the next nine points scored to seal the win behind three kills from Lacey Swartout and the game winner by Venturelli to secure the 15-11 victory.
For the match Venturelli posted a team-high 16 kills while Swartout and Cleland finished second and third on the team respectively with 15 and 12. Davis tallied 11 to finish fourth on 20 total attacks while posting a team-best .400 hitting percentage.
Howatt dished out and team-high 29 assists while Rachel Dubbs finished second on the team with 18. On the defensive side four players finished the match with double-digit digs with Hailey Dougherty finishing with a team-high and season-high 31 digs while Allison Laucella finished second on the team with 13 as Venturelli and Dubbs tallied 10 each.
As a team the Sea Gulls totaled 63 total digs, 60 assists, six service aces, 89 digs, and 21 total blocks.
Mount Union 3, Salisbury 1
Salisbury once again jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a 25-22 win in the first set but were unable to hold on as Mount Union claimed the next three sets in a row by scores of 25-16, 25-21, and 25-19.
The Sea Gulls offense was held in check throughout the match tallying no more than 12 kills in a single set, which they totaled in both the third and fourth set, and were unable to tally a hitting percentage greater than .200.
Venturelli and Swartout tied for the team-lead in kills totaling 16 each and were the only players to tally double-digit kills. Dubbs led the team with 20 assists while Howatt finished just behind her teammate with 19.
Defensively Dougherty tallied a team-best 20 digs while senior Samantha Chubb recorded a team-high eight blocks while teammates Gianna Savarese and Carley Cleland finished tied for second with five each.
As a team Salisbury (11-5) totaled 44 kills, 41 assists, and 54 digs, and 27 total blocks for the match.
The Sea Gulls will return to action on Friday, September 29, when they start Capital Athletic Conference play at Southern Virginia University. The match is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.