Volleyball Finishes Regular Season with Three-Set Sweep

Allison Mackley finished with 21 digs. Photo by: Kevin Duffy
Allison Mackley finished with 21 digs. Photo by: Kevin Duffy

Volleyball Finishes Regular Season with Three-Set Sweep

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- The Virginia Wesleyan University volleyball team ended the regular season on Friday night with a three-set sweep of Salisbury University. The Marlins defeated SU 30-28, 25-22, 25-17.

It was Senior Night for the Marlins as the team recognized Dare Wright, Maddie Starr, Emilee Pierson, Colleen Smith, Ashley Bologna, and Allison Mackley in a pregame ceremony.

The first set displayed all the promise this match held as both teams entered near the top of their respective league standings. Salisbury led most of the set, holding a 22-20 lead before the Marlins rallied to take the lead for first time since it was 4-3.

Doneisha Hall started the run with a kill to cut the Sea Gull lead to a point at 22-21. A Kristina Scott evened the score before another kill from Ashley Bologna put the Marlins ahead. A Salisbury attack error made it 24-22 in favor of the Marlins and capped off a 4-0 run.

Salisbury fought off two set points as a block by Gianna Savarese evened the score at 24-all. Savarese put away a kill on the next point to earn a set point for the Sea Gulls. Dare Wright finished off a kill from Emilee Pierson to stave off a Sea Gull victory.

The two squads continued to exchange points, with Salisbury leading 28-27 and looking to finish off the first set. A service error gave the point to the Marlins, turning away yet another set point. An attack error brought the Marlins within a point of an initial set win. Hall put away a perfect pass from Pierson to secure the win.

The Marlins led the duration of the second set, despite Salisbury getting within just one point on multiple occasions. Virginia Wesleyan pulled away briefly from an 11-10 lead with a four-point run, but the Sea Gulls rallied to cut it back to a single point.

VWU led 23-21 when a kill by Nicole Venturelli cut the lead to a point. An immediate service error swung momentum back to the Marlins where a Bologna kill won the set.

Salisbury put up an early fight in the third set, going up 6-4. The Marlins answered with an 11-3 run to jump ahead 15-9. The Sea Gulls managed to cut it to a four-point lead, but would get no closer as the Marlins rolled to the win.

Venturelli led Salisbury (18-9) with 10 kills as Rachel Dubbs contributed 23 assists and Hailey Dougherty tallied 29 digs.

Hall and Scott had nine kills each for the Marlins while Pierson added 24 assists and 19 digs. Mackley led the squad with 21 digs.

Virginia Wesleyan (18-9/8-3) enters the ODAC tournament as the No. 3 seed. The Marlins will face No. 6 Roanoke College in the ODAC Quarterfinals on Wednesday with a time yet to be determined. The Marlins won at Roanoke in five sets on September 23.