BUENA VISTA, Va. – The Salisbury University volleyball team took to the road to open Capital Athletic Conference play on Saturday afternoon, falling to host Southern Virginia University in four sets.
Hailey Dougherty recorded 13 digs in the match, which was not only a team-high but it also moved her past the 1,000 mark for her career. She now sits at 1,009 for her career in the maroon and gold.
Salisbury (9-6, 0-1 CAC) dropped the first two sets of the match by scores of 25-22 and 25-16. The Gulls combined for 23 kills and recorded hitting percentages of .200 and .147 in the first two sets. The Knights in the meantime totaled 25 kills including 14 in set two while posting hitting percentages of .226 and .300.
The Sea Gulls did manage to battle back in the third set claiming a 25-21 victory behind kills from five different players including three from Carley Cleland, who finished her night with 10. The set opened as a back-and-forth battle but Salisbury quickly gained the upper hand behind an 8-1 run that saw the Gulls stretch their lead to 18-10. However, Southern Virginia rallied back behind a 9-3 run of their own to trim the deficit to 21-19. Kills from Cleland and Hannah Sullivan ended the set and gave the maroon and gold the victory.
Both teams would battle in the fourth set with the Knights ultimately claiming a 33-31 victory to seal the match. Five different Salisbury players recorded kills in the set with Gianna Savarese tallying a team-best five. Utilizing two 4-0 scoring runs in the set Salisbury managed to take a 21-20 lead but was unable to secure the victory as Southern Virginia rallied back to take a slim 24-23 lead. A kill by Nicole Venturelli forced a win by two situation that the Knights finally claimed behind three straight points to end the match.
Savarese finished the match as the team-leader in kills with 15 kills and another team-best .417 hitting percentage. Venturelli finished the match with nine while Amanda Chew rounded out her night afternoon with eight. Kiana Bopp posted a team-best 19 assists while Rachel Dubbs chipped in with 15 of her own.
Salisbury returns to action on Wednesday, September 26 when it hosts Virginia Wesleyan University. The match is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at Maggs Physical Activities Center.