NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Salisbury University volleyball team put a pin in the 2021 regular season in style, beating the Marymount (Va.) Saints, 3-1 (25-20, 20-25, 25-9, 25-23), and upsetting their Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference (C2C) archrival Christopher Newport Captains, 3-1 (20-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-22), on Friday night at the Freeman Center.
HOW IT HAPPENED vs. MARYMOUNT
- After falling behind 12-7 in the first set, the Sea Gulls roared back into it with a 6-1 run to tie it at 13-13, then 14-14 on Amanda Chew's kill and 15-15 on an attack error. Caitlyn Edman and Jenna Feinauer then teamed up on a block and Natalie Uibel launched a kill to make it 17-15 Salisbury.
- The Saints answered with three in a row of their own, taking an 18-17 lead on a Feinauer attack error. Feinauer atoned moments later with a kill to tie it at 18-18, and the score stayed tied at 19-19 and 20-20 before SU make its next move.
- After Angelina Casserly fired off a kill to put Salisbury up 21-20, Uibel locked in and seized control for the rest of the set, notching back-to-back service aces and then two straight kills to give the Sea Gulls a 25-20 win and cap a 5-0, set-clinching run.
- Marymount started strong again in the second set, taking a 9-5 lead on an ace from Kaitlyn Doyle. After Uibel got it to 9-6 with a kill, the Saints scored four of the next five, going up 13-7 and forcing an SU timeout.
- The Sea Gulls rallied to get within 14-10 before giving up four in a row to fall behind 18-10, but SU countered with a three-point run, capped by a Chew ace that made it 18-13 MU. The set continued at its back-and-forth pace with SU getting as close as 21-18 on an ace from Ella Franks, but it was too little, too late as the Saints clinched the set 25-20 on an attack error.
- Salisbury came off firing on all cylinders in set three. Kills by Hannah Sullivan and Uibel and a Grace Rail ace gave SU a quick 3-0 lead. The Saints kept pace until the 8-5 mark, at which point Chew unleashed a kill that sparked a 10-0 run. Uibel, Hannah Einbrod and Chew each had kills over the stretch, and Sullivan and Einbrod teamed up for two blocks, the final one capping the rally with the Sea Gulls ahead 18-5.
- Sullivan and Uibel's stars burned brightest to close out the set, accounting for six of Salisbury's final seven points. Sullivan notched two kills and an ace over the stretch, and Uibel landed three more kills, including the set-clincher at 25-9.
- The fourth set proved to be the most competitive of the match. Neither side could get more than three points clear until, with Marymount leading 11-10, the Saints rattled off three in a row, going up 14-10 on another ace from Doyle. The Sea Gulls answered with two straight but MU countered with three more in a row, building a 17-12 cushion as Sarah Pham found the floor for an ace.
- Salisbury closed the gap to 18-16 on a kill from Chew, but an attack error and Elissa Munsterman ace set MU up with a 20-16 cushion. The Sea Gulls answered with a 4-0 run, capped by a Casserly kill to tie it at 20-20.
- The teams traded service errors to make it 21-21, then Casserly and Uibel landed kills to give SU a 23-21 lead. Doyle's kill got MU within 23-22, but Sullivan gave SU a set point chance with a kill to make it 24-22. Doyle again found the open floor to make it 24-23, but Feinauer slammed the door shut with a match-clinching kill, giving the Sea Gulls a 25-23 win in the deciding set.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Angelina Casserly went off for a blistering performance at the net, landing a career-high 14 kills on 21 swings without a single error for an attack percentage of .667.
- Natalie Uibel tied for the team lead with a career-best 14 kills, swinging .385 in the process. Uibel also chased down eight digs and landed three service aces.
- Hannah Sullivan landed 12 kills, while Jenna Feinauer added 11 kills of her own and swung .556. Sullivan and Feinauer tallied one block solo and three block assists apiece.
- Ella Franks set a career high with 32 assists, narrowly missing a double-double with nine digs and serving up three aces. Blair Pausic notched 11 assists in two sets' worth of action.
- Darian DiMatteo chased down a season-high 27 digs.
- The Sea Gulls beat Marymount in all three of their matches this season, downing the Saints at home (3-0 on Sept. 1), on the road (3-1 on Sept. 25) and at a neutral site.
MARYMOUNT GAME NOTES
- Kaitlyn Doyle posted a double-double to lead the Saints in both kills (14) and digs (13).
- Sophie Meredith landed nine kills, while Elissa Munsterman added eight.
- Sydney Sands punched out 32 assists, and Sarah Pham tied for the team lead with 13 digs.
HOW IT HAPPENED vs. CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT
- The Sea Gulls held the Captains at an arm's length for much of the first set, with Amanda Chew and Hannah Sullivan teaming up for a block to put SU ahead 8-5. From there CNU got back into it, forcing ties at 10-10, 11-11 and 13-13.
- After a couple attacking errors that put SU back up 15-13, CNU rattled off five in a row, taking an 18-15 lead on a kill from Macy Burk. Salisbury eventually made a run to get within 20-19, but the Captains scored five of the next six to finish off the set, with Sammy Carroll's ace clinching it at 25-20.
- With CNU up 3-2 early in the second set, the Sea Gulls went on a 6-0 run, started by a kill from Jenna Feinauer and fueled by a pair of Natalie Uibel aces, to surge ahead 8-3. The Captains then broke the rally but SU kept up momentum by grabbing three of the next four, with Sullivan's kill building the lead to 11-5.
- Salisbury never let the lead shrink lower than three points, with CNU's highwater mark of the set coming at a 16-13 deficit. The Sea Gulls followed with a 5-1 push to go ahead 21-14, and Uibel finished the romp soon after with a solo block to ice the second set, 25-17.
- The Sea Gulls stormed out of the gate in set three, taking a 6-1 lead on the back of blocks from Sullivan and Angelina Casserly. CNU countered with three straight to get within 6-4, but SU answered with four straight, going up 10-4 on a kill from Uibel.
- SU kept a foot on the gas for most of the rest of the set, gaining virtually two points for every one for the Captains. Casserly landed the kill that opened up a double-digit lead at 20-10, and additional kills from Casserly and Feinauer put SU up 21-11 and 22-12.
- The Captains finally settled in and rallied for five straight, riding a Rebecca Frey ace to cut the deficit to 22-17. CNU then handed Salisbury two straight points on attack errors, setting up set point at 24-17, before scoring three straight and getting within 24-20 on a Burk kill. Undaunted, Sullivan punched a kill that got SU over the top, and the Sea Gulls hung on for a 25-20 win.
- CNU opened set four by going up 3-0 and held early three-point cushions at 7-4, 10-7 and 11-8. Salisbury then locked in and surged ahead 13-11, with Grace Rail landed two aces in the five-point run.
- SU soon after held a 15-12 lead, at which point the pendulum swung back to the Captains, who tied it at 15-15 on a Mackenzie Wright kill and eventually went up 19-17 on an ace from Anna Dean.
- An attack error and a Chew-Sullivan block brought Salisbury even at 19-19, and the set stayed knotted at 20-20 and 21-21 before CNU took a 22-21 lead on a Burk kill. With victory in their sights, the Sea Gulls found a new gear, with Sullivan and Uibel landing the tying and go-ahead kills, respectively, to make it 23-22 SU.
- Casserly and Feinauer teamed up for a stuff to get it to match point, and Ella Franks set up Uibel for the clinching kill, giving Salisbury the 25-22 win and a stunning upset against a perennial national power.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Natalie Uibel led a balanced Sea Gull attack with nine kills. She also chased down a career-high 15 digs, eclipsing double digits in that category for the first time.
- Angelina Casserly, Jenna Feinauer and Hannah Sullivan each tallied eight kills. Sullivan swung at a .583 clip, managing her eight kills on 12 swings against just one error.
- Ella Franks assisted on 21 kills, while Blair Pausic managed a season-high 16 assists plus 12 digs for a double-double.
- Darian DiMatteo notched 20 digs, giving her 20-plus digs for the third straight match and seventh time this season.
- DiMatteo was one of four Sea Gulls who notched double-digit digs, with Uibel (15), Pausic (12) and Grace Rail (11) teaming up with the senior for 58 of Salisbury's 74 digs.
- Salisbury beat Christopher Newport for the first time since upsetting the 13th-ranked Captains 3-1 in Newport News on Oct. 7, 2016. The Sea Gulls had lost seven straight matches against CNU until Friday night.
- The Sea Gulls finish off the regular season as winners of seven of their last eight matches and head into postseason play with a 14-9 record.
CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT GAME NOTES
- Macy Burk and Kyla McIntyre led the Captains with 10 kills apiece, and Mackenzie Wright added eight kills of her own.
- Sammy Carroll served up 34 assists, delivering all but one of CNU's 35 assists on the night.
- Rebecca Frey chased down a team-high 20 digs, while Noelle Starr notched 18 digs.
- The Captains swung just .031 as a team, committing 35 attacking errors against 40 kills.
- With the regular season wrapped up, the Sea Gulls set their sights on Milwaukee, Wisc., and the inaugural C2C Volleyball Tournament beginning on Friday, Nov. 5.
- Salisbury will learn its opponent and match time on Monday when the C2C reveals the tournament bracket, which will be created based on the final Massey Ratings of the season.
- As of Friday night the Sea Gulls hold the No. 4 seed in the C2C volleyball Massey Ratings, which would match them up against fifth-seeded Mills College on Friday morning at 12 p.m. EDT/11 a.m. CDT.
Salisbury University is a proud member of NCAA Division III with primary membership in the Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference, along with the New Jersey Athletic Conference for football and the Metropolitan Swimming and Diving Conference for men's and women's swimming. With over 500 student-athletes in 21 varsity sports, SU is recognized as one of the most competitive intercollegiate athletics programs regardless of division, and dedicated coaches and staff that foster excellence on-and-off the field. The Sea Gulls have celebrated 22 team national championships, 24 individual national champions, 184 conference championships and 41 Academic All-Americans.
To learn more about the tradition of excellence with Sea Gull Athletics, visit www.SUSeaGulls.com or on social media @SUSeaGulls.