MILWAUKEE, Wisc. – The fourth-seeded Salisbury University volleyball team came up on the short end of a heartbreaking Coast-to-Coast Athletic Conference (C2C) Tournament championship match, falling to the second-seeded Christopher Newport Captains, 3-2 (22-25, 29-31, 25-21, 25-17, 21-19) on Saturday afternoon at the Bloechl Center on the campus of Mount Mary University.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Sea Gulls took an early lead in set one, going up 5-2 on a service ace from Angelina Casserly. After CNU narrowed the gap to 8-6, SU nabbed four of the next five, with a kill from Amanda Chew boosting the lead to 12-7.
- From there the first set became a game of runs. The Captains roared to life and scored 11 points in a row to go up 18-12, with Maddie Carter and Mackenzie Wright accounting for seven kills.
- Salisbury answered with five in a row and 11 of the next 13, capped with back-to-back Jenna Feinauer kills to take a 23-20 lead. The teams traded points until Hannah Sullivan put it away for the Sea Gulls with a kill, clinching the first set at 25-22.
- The Sea Gulls again came back from a sizeable deficit in a marathon set two. Down 16-9, SU netted four in a row, getting within 16-13 on a Chew kill. After the Captains rebuilt the lead to 19-14, Salisbury got six in a row, bookended by Jackie Mitchell kills that put SU on top 20-19.
- CNU got up off the mat and rode a 5-1 run to set point at 24-21, at which point the Sea Gulls answered with four in a row on a Casserly-Sullivan block, Chew-Sullivan block, attack error and Chew kill, turning it around to their own set point at 25-24.
- Sammy Carroll tied it with a kill and teamed up with Macy Burk for a block to give CNU another set point at 26-25. Salisbury fought it off and the next three Captain set points, hanging tough at the 29-29 mark. After an attack error, Ella Franks set up Sullivan for a kill to finally ice it for the Sea Gulls, 31-29.
- Set three started tight and saw SU on top 9-8 before notching five of six on three errors, a Chew kill and a Feinauer-Franks block to boost the lead to 14-9. The teams traded points but the Sea Gull lead held at 18-15 before the Captains locked in and made their move.
- Carroll and Wright teamed up for a block to tie it at 19-19, then Anna Dean landed an ace to give CNU the lead and Carroll set up Carter for a kill to make it 21-19. SU got possession back on a service error but the Captains netted three straight to get to set point, and Carter's kill finished it off at 25-21 to extend the match.
- CNU rode its newfound momentum into the fourth set, taking an early 6-1 lead on a run punctuated by a Dean-Wright block. Salisbury kept pace for the next few points, with Franks' ace keeping SU within 10-6, but a block and two errors put the Captains back in the driver's seat at 13-6.
- The Sea Gulls could never get their footing for the rest of set four, getting no closer than six points the rest of the way. Noelle Starr's kill got it to set point at 24-15, and an SU service error clinched the set at 25-17 to force a decisive fifth set.
- Set five started out even at 3-3, but CNU surged ahead 6-3 back-to-back Carr kills and an SU error, eventually nursing the lead to 9-6.
- Feinauer landed a kill to open a 3-1 Sea Gull push that saw SU tie it 10-10 on an attack error. The set stayed tied at 11-11, 12-12 and 13-13, then Blair Pausic set up Sullivan for a kill that gave the Sea Gulls match point at 14-13.
- The Captains managed their own match point on a service error and attack error, forging ahead 15-14. Mitchell kept SU alive with a kill to knot it at 15-15, and the Sea Gulls fought off three more match points in a row to stay alive at 18-18.
- Franks set up Chew for a kill that put the Sea Gulls ahead 19-18, but SU couldn't convert match point and gave it back to the Captains on a service error. Salisbury's attack error on the next point gave CNU a 20-19 lead, and the Captains finally cashed in on their fifth match point as Carroll found Carter for the clinching kill, sealing the deal and the league title at 21-19.
SALISBURY GAME NOTES
- Amanda Chew landed a season-high 20 kills, plus 11 digs for her fourth double-double of the season. Chew also teamed up on four block assists.
- Angelina Casserly, Jenna Feinauer and Jackie Mitchell each clocked 10 kills, and Hannah Sullivan finished one short at nine kills.
- Ella Franks assisted on 28 kills and dug out eight attacks, while Blair Pausic added 19 assists.
- Darian DiMatteo set a new career high with 29 digs in her final career match, crossing the 20-dig threshold for the ninth time this season. Grace Rail picked up 12 digs of her own.
- The Sea Gulls teamed up for 10 blocks in the match. Sullivan factored in on six block assists, while Feinauer managed one solo block and three block assists.
- Casserly and DiMatteo were each named to the C2C Volleyball All-Tournament Team.
CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT GAME NOTES
- Maddie Carter and Mackenzie Wright shared the Captain lead with 22 kills apiece. Carter committed just two errors in 60 swings, good for a .333 attack percentage.
- Sammy Carroll served up 54 assists on CNU's 63 kills.
- The Captains had five players manage double-digit digs, with Rebecca Frey (21), Anna Dean (20), Cassie McShaffrey (19), Noelle Starr (16) and Carroll (11) accounted for 87 of CNU's 99 digs.
- Carroll was named C2C Tournament MVP, and Carter and Wright joined Carroll on the All-Tournament Team.
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.