Venturelli tallies 21 kills; Sea Gulls down Marlins 3-1

Venturelli tallies 21 kills; Sea Gulls down Marlins 3-1

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University volleyball team got back in the win column on Wednesday night downing the Virginia Wesleyan University Marlins in four sets at Maggs Physical Activities Center. The Sea Gulls held the Marlins to a .118 hitting percentage while posting a .227 mark of their own and registering 58 team kills to aid in the victory.

Nicole Venturelli led all Salisbury (10-6) players with a team-best 21 kills, her first 20-plus kill match since tallying 30 against The Catholic University of America on September 14. Venturelli got the Gulls off to a quick start aiding in the first set victory hammering home nine kills to give the home team the 25-20 win.

Five of her nine kills came on a 9-5 Sea Gulls run that saw the home team jump out to an 11-8 advantage early in the opening set. Venturelli helped push the advantage later in the set to four, 24-20, with her final kill of the set before Darian DiMatteo served up the set-winning ace, one of eight service aces on the night for the maroon and gold.

She continued her success in the second set tallying seven of Salisbury's 15 kills to lead the team. However, the Marlins (7-5) captured a 25-20 victory in set two to level the score and one each. Virginia Wesleyan tallied 14 total team kills in the set and posted a team-hitting percentage of .208 to earn the victory.

The Gulls totaled 30 kills over the next two sets as Venturelli tallied a combined five and Gianna Savarese totaled a team-best seven, including a team-high five in the decisive fourth set. Savarese finished the night with 12 total kills and was the only other Sea Gull player to record double-digit kills. Four of her five fourth set kills came on a Salisbury 8-2 run that helped the Gulls push their advantage to double-digits, 20-10, which was the first time all night either team held a double-digit point advantage.

Three different players tallied double-digit digs in the match as Hailey Dougherty led the way with 21 while Amanda Chew and Rachel Dubbs recorded 18 and 10 respectively. Carley Cleland also assisted on the defensive end with a team-best five blocks while Hannah Sullivan and Savarese each posted three. Dubbs was also a major contributor on the offensive side registering 34 assists to go along with two service aces.

Salisbury returns to action on Saturday, September 29 when it hosts Capital Athletic Conference opponent Penn State University Harrisburg at 2 p.m. at Maggs PAC.      

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