VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The Salisbury University volleyball team dropped its final match of the regular season, 3-0, to host Virginia Wesleyan University on Friday night. The Sea Gulls were swept for just the second time this season with the other time coming against now No. 6 Carnegie Mellon University back on September 22.
The opening set was a thriller as the Marlins (18-9) picked up a win by two, 30-28, victory to take the 1-0 lead. Both teams battled back and forth early in the set with the largest lead coming from Salisbury (18-9) when it pushed its lead to 16-11 midway through. Kills from Nicole Venturelli, Gianna Savarese, and Carley Cleland helped push the maroon and gold's advantage to 20-15 just five points away from the opening set win. However, a 9-2 Virginia Wesleyan scoring run gave the Marlins a 24-22 lead with a chance to win.
The Sea Gulls would not go away quietly though battling back behind a 3-0 run to take a 25-24 lead. Both teams battled for the final two points with Salisbury taking a one-point lead three times and the Marlins taking a one-point lead twice. However, it was the second lead by Virginia Wesleyan that proved to be the final one as the Marlins rattled off the final three points to claim the opening set victory.
Virginia Wesleyan took the final two sets by scores of 25-22 and 25-17. In the second set the teams battled once again with neither really able to establish a comfortable lead with the largest lead being a five-point, 15-10, lead for the Marlins. Two Venturelli kills and one from Sydney Davis pulled the Sea Gulls within one late in the set but Virginia Wesleyan tallied the final two to take the 2-0 lead.
After an initial back and forth battle in the third set the Marlins were able to pull away and cruise to a 25-17 third set victory to complete the sweep. The Sea Gulls were held to just nine kills while Virginia Wesleyan totaled 12 kills and a hitting percentage of .257.
Venturelli led the maroon and gold with 10 kills while Cleland posted eight. Rachel Dubbs recorded a team-best 23 of Salisbury's 35 assists while adding in two service aces and a team-best .333 hitting percentage to round out her night.
On the defensive side Hailey Dougherty picked up 29 digs while Savarese posted a team-best four solo blocks. As a team the Sea Gulls recorded 36 kills, five service aces, 70 digs, and eight total blocks.
Salisbury will now turn its attention to the Capital Athletic Conference playoffs. The Sea Gulls will play on Tuesday, October 31. A time and opponent have yet to be announced but will be available once we have more information.