Volleyball stumbles on homecoming

Volleyball stumbles on homecoming

SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University volleyball team squared off against the University of Mary Washington on Saturday afternoon as part of the 2018 homecoming festivities on campus. The Sea Gulls fell to the visiting Eagles in a tough conference match, 3-0.

Before the match the team honored its four seniors as Gabby Fox, Madison Lim, Nicole Venturelli and Gianna Savarese all were playing in their final homecoming match of their careers.

Both Venturelli and Savarese turned in solid performances for the maroon and gold (12-7, 1-2 CAC) despite the loss, as they combined for 10 kills, hitting nine and one respectively, and five total blocks, with Savarese recording four.

Mary Washington (13-9, 4-0 CAC) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after claiming the opening set by the final score of 25-19. After a back-and-forth battle early in the set the Eagles used an 11-6 run to stretch their lead to 19-12. However, the Sea Gulls battled back to cut the deficit to just three, using a 4-0 run of their own. Mary Washington would score four of the final five points in the set to take the opening set, though, behind 15 total kills and just three attacking errors to Salisbury's six.

Venturelli totaled four of her nine total kills in the first set, including three in a five-point span, to help the Gulls pull back into the match midway through.

In the second set it was much of the same as both teams traded points throughout most of the contest. Venturelli tallied two kills while Amanda Chew, who finished the afternoon with a team-best 11, posted a team-high four kills in set number two. Mary Washington managed to find some breathing room mid-way through, but once again Salisbury rallied back by cutting the deficit to just two, 18-16. However, the Eagles used a 7-3 run to close out the set and capture the second victory.

The third and final set stayed true to form as the programs battled early on as there were four lead changes and four ties in the opening 14 points scored. However, a 10-2 run by Mary Washington saw the Eagles grasp a 17-9 lead. A kill by Chew sparked a 7-2 run for the Gulls that saw kills from three different players, including two from Carley Cleland. It was not enough though as the Eagles won five of the final six points in the set to claim the match victory.

As a team Salisbury finished with 33 kills while Mary Washington hammered home 40 of their own. The Sea Gulls posted a .261 hitting percentage and posted 12 blocks, led by Cleland's five. Cleland would also tally a team-best hitting percentage of .533 and eight kills. The Eagles served up a match-best seven aces while finishing with a hitting percentage of .302.

Salisbury returns to action on Wednesday, October 17 when it hosts St. Mary's College of Maryland for the programs annual Dig Pink match. The match is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in Maggs Physical Activities Center.     

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