BY BRETT ZIMMERMAN
Tuesday night’s volleyball contest against the nation’s top ranked Christopher Newport University was anything but easy for the Salisbury University Sea Gulls. The Sea Gulls were blanked 3-0 by the CNU Captains in front of a wild crowd at Maggs Gymnasium.
The score appeared to be lopsided, but SU made the match much closer than what the final result came out to be. The three sets played were each decided by less than three points respectively.
CNU opened the first set with a quick 8-12 run, but not before SU answered back with an 8-2 rally after Coach Margie Knight called a timeout. Salisbury took a 16-14 lead after that point, but then CNU prevailed by winning 23-25.
Senior Carley Todd was a huge factor for the Seagulls with 11 assists and five digs during the first set.
“I was just trying to be consistent. Consistency was everything,” said Todd.
Todd finished the game with a game-high 22 assists.
Trailing 0-1, SU previous loss carried over into the second set as the Seagulls found themselves down 4-9 just moments after intermission. Once again, Salisbury would rally to a 20-20 tie before things began to heat up. An unusually long and eventful volley caused the crowd to jump to its feet and roar loudly during the 21 point.
“I just kept playing and knew we had to win this point. When we scored, it was just like pure bliss,” sophomore Mattie Smith said.
Salisbury would win the hard earned point, but would then surrender four of the final five points and lose the set 22-25.
Down 0-2 with their backs against the wall, the Sea Gulls knew they had to win the third set in order to have any chance at winning the match.
“I have nowhere to go. Do you guys have anywhere to go? Let’s just keep playing and try our best to win” Knight said to her team.
Knight’s words inspired the Seagull players as they jumped out to a 12-6 lead. The game would go back and forth for the majority of the set, until SU found themselves trailing 22-23 in the final moments. Despite a valiant effort by the Seagulls, CNU would take the next three points and win the set 23-25.
“You see these final scores? One play better by each player could have changed the game,” Margie Knight said. Salisbury will travel to Allentown, PA where they will face Moravian in the Muhlenberg Tournament, beginning Sept. 7.