By Diamond Holton
Salisbury University women’s volleyball trumped the University of Mary Washington, 3-1, and ended their four-match winning streak on homecoming weekend.
The Sea Gulls (15-7, 2-1 CAC) were down early in the duel of the birds, but pulled through in the first set taking the lead back. Consistent runs and a service ace from sophomore setter Rachel Pierson forced the Eagles (16-5, 3-1 CAC) to take an early timeout.
Taking an 18-14 lead in the first set forced Mary Washington to take another timeout. The Eagles then went on a 7-1 run jumping ahead 21-19 in the match, but Salisbury prevailed winning the first set 25-22.
The Eagles came out strong in the second set increasing their attack percentage from .114 in the first to .700 in the second, totaling 14 kills for the set, forcing the Sea Gulls to take their first timeout after trailing 12-6 in the second. The second set was in Mary Washington’s favor as they cruised by winning 25-11.
Junior outside hitter, Katie Stouffer, loves how aggressive her team was, despite losing the second set. She said that’s just the game of volleyball.
“Giving up is not in our vocabulary. It’s all about sticking together as a team,” Stouffer said. “We say stick together and we have that team stick and we’re so close as a family, so there’s no option of giving up. We won’t let each other give up. If someone is down, we pick them right back up.”
The Sea Gulls ended up losing one player to an injury. Freshman outside hitter Nicole Venturelli seemed to have come down wrong on her leg, and was assisted off the court for examination by the athletic training staff.
In the third set, Salisbury shut down the Eagles only allowing an attack percentage of .032 and combining for a total of 13 kills, five of which belonged to sophomore Sydney Davis. The Sea Gulls rolled through the third set, 25-15, and edged Mary Washington in the fourth set, 25-21, for the win.
With this win, the Sea Gulls hold a 36-17 edge in the series and have an 18-2 record at home, leading the Capital Athletic Conference play series, 14-7 against Mary Washington.
Head coach, Justin Turco, knew his team was prepared and ready for Mary Washington. He felt his team pushed each other.
“Today was one of those true team wins where everyone who didn’t get on the stat sheet or in the game really pushed us in practice and really prepared us to play against them,” Turco said. “We try to play one way every time and that’s aggressive. The style of our team is that we are a family and we have to fight together to take every game.”
Salisbury heads on the road with more conference play facing Wesley on Wednesday at 7 p.m. followed by another match up on the road against Southern Virginia next Saturday at 1 p.m.