SALISBURY, Md. – After rallying back from a two-set deficit to go the distance, the Salisbury University volleyball team lost a heartbreaker to the Virginia Wesleyan Marlins, bowing 3-2 (25-16, 25-18, 13-25, 21-25, 15-9) on Wednesday night at the Maggs Physical Activities Center.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Sea Gulls started slow, committing five errors within the Marlins' first 10 points. A Sydney Collins kill gave VWU a 11-5 lead and forced a Salisbury timeout.
- Va. Wesleyan never let SU get closer than four points for the rest of the set, and Jenna Waters' kill on a set from Grace Sweers locked the first set up for the Marlins, 25-16.
- Salisbury got off to a better start in the second set, taking an early 5-4 lead on kills from Amanda Chew and Jenna Feinauer, plus three straight Marlin errors. After VWU rattled off five points in a row to go up 9-5, Salisbury clawed back to tie it at 9-9 on a four-point rally that included kills from Angelina Casserly and Jackie Mitchell.
- The teams went punch-for-punch through the midway point of the set, with another Feinauer kill keeping the Sea Gulls within one point at 16-15. The Marlins kicked it up a notch from there, though, closing the set on a 9-3 run and finishing the job on a kill from Alexis Davies-Hackenberg for a 25-18 set victory.
- Their backs against the wall, the Sea Gulls came roaring back for an emphatic set three victory. Up 12-10, Casserly found open floor for a kill, then Chew served up an ace to make it 14-10. VWU spotted Salisbury another point on an attack error, then Feinauer executed a kill and Chew struck with another ace, pushing the Sea Gull lead to 17-10 and forcing a Marlin timeout.
- Following a service error, Caitlyn Edman earned SU the serve back with a kill to make it 18-11. After trading a point each, Ella Franks found Mitchell for a kill, then Brooke Young served up an ace. Mitchell and Hannah Sullivan teamed up for a block to follow, then another Young ace gave the Sea Gulls a 23-12 cushion. SU soon closed it out on kills from Mitchell and Chew to put the third set away 25-13.
- The fourth set saw the two teams going back-and-forth all the way to the end. After Salisbury fell behind 9-6 the Sea Gulls rattled off three in a row, tying it at 9-9 on a Casserly-Sullivan block. The teams tied again at 10-10, 11-11, and 12-12 before the Marlins got in front by three on two blocks and a Morgan Ludovici kill, making it 15-12.
- The Sea Gulls answered with three of their own on an Edman kill, Chew solo block, and attacking error to make it 15-15. The teams stayed joined at the hip with tie scores all the way through 21-21. Spurred by a Casserly kill that brought the set to its seventh straight tie, SU finally got the high ground as Sullivan and Edman launched back-to-back kills, forcing a VWU timeout at 23-21. Sullivan came out of the break with another kill, and Young's fake-set kill made it a set-closing 5-0 Sea Gull run and a 25-21 margin to force set five.
- The teams' back-and-forth affair rolled on with tie scores at 1-1, 3-3, 4-4 and 5-5. It was at that point that Va. Wesleyan seized control for good, though. Haley Sutton's ace put the Marlins up 6-5, then an Abigail Mahoney kill and SU error made it 8-5 and forced a Salisbury timeout.
- Salisbury got as close as 9-7 on an Edman kill, but the Marlins strung together three straight to go up 12-7 on a Claytor kill. The margin proved to be too much and a kill from Davies-Hackenberg finished the job for VWU at 15-9.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Amanda Chew notched her first double-double of the year with a season-high 14 kills and 17 digs, plus a pair of service aces and a solo block.
- Jackie Mitchell recorded her first double-digit kill performance, racking up 10 kills and providing support up the middle with three blocks.
- Angelina Casserly and Caitlyn Edman recorded nine kills apiece.
- Brooke Young recorded 26 assists and 15 digs for her first career double-double, while Ella Franks came two digs shy of her own with 15 assists and eight digs.
- Darian DiMatteo led all SU defenders with 19 digs and added six assists.
VIRGINIA WESLEYAN GAME NOTES
- Jenna Waters led a balanced Marlin attack with 12 kills, adding 10 digs for a double-double.
- Emma Claytor swung .400 and racked up 11 kills against just three errors. She also accounted for five blocks, including one solo.
- Haley Sutton led VWU with 23 assists, while Alexis Davies-Hackenburg added 17 helpers of her own.
- Cara Caruso reached for a match-high 24 digs, and Grace Sweers totaled 16 digs.
- The Sea Gulls now head up to Selinsgrove, Pa., for the weekend-long "SU" Tournament, hosted by Susquehanna University.
- Salisbury takes on Stockton at 6 p.m. on Friday, then on Saturday the Sea Gulls do battle with Susquehanna at 11 a.m. and Shenandoah at 3 p.m.