By Lucas McCoy
The Salisbury University volleyball team defeated Frostburg State University 3-0 in their last game of the regular season. The win means that the Sea Gulls end undefeated at home for the season. The Sea Gulls finished their regular season with a record of 20-7 (8-1 CAC), and will look to continue their hot streak as they head into the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) tournament this upcoming week.
The Bobcats did not have an answer for the Sea Gulls and senior outside hitter Katie Stouffer. Stouffer totaled 14 kills throughout the three sets in what was her last regular season home game as a Sea Gull. Stouffer is now just shy of the record for most kills in Salisbury University volleyball history.
“Having so many fans, family, and friends that came out for the seniors’ last game gave us a lot of great energy and just showed a real appreciation for the program that Salisbury has created,” Stouffer said.
“We take every game one step at a time and we know each team we face is going to bring their best. Going into the tournament, we’re very encouraged just knowing that whatever team we face on the other side of the court. We are going to bring our best,” Stouffer continued.
Freshman setter Rachel Dubbs was also a key to the Sea Gulls success against the Bobcats, setting her hitters up at key moments. Dubbs showed no signs of freshman inexperience in an important afternoon after starting all three sets for the Sea Gulls, recording seven total digs.
“I’ve only known the upperclassmen for about half a semester, but we’re all just such a close knit team,” Dubbs said.
“We all just wanted to play today for the seniors to show how much respect we have for them and how much we appreciate them. We played such as a team and if this energy can carry over into playoffs, I know we’ll practice really hard so we can go as far as we can,” Dubbs continued.
With the emotions of the last home game for the seniors apparent, the underclassman were able to rally behind them and help them go out with a win. Even though it was senior night, the Sea Gulls’ game plan stayed the course consistent with the previous two home matches this week.
“We didn’t prepare any differently today, we actually just prepare for any game as much as the one before it and as much the one we’re going to play after,” SU volleyball head coach Justin Turco said. “In terms of strategies on the court and how we play, we really just want to play the best we can every day.”
With the victory against Frostburg State, Salisbury has received a first round bye in the CAC tournament. The team finishes the season tied with Mary Washington for first place in the conference. Mary Washington takes the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs based on their win over SU earlier this season.
The Sea Gulls are the number two seed in the conference and will play the winner of No. 6 York College (Pa.) vs. No. 3 Christopher Newport University.
“We have been having a really good few weeks of practice, and a lot of the stuff that we are working on in practice, the team is executing on the court,” Coach Turco said. “We are confident as a team that we will be competitive with anyone right now.”
The Salisbury University volleyball team is set to play their first playoff game at home in the conference semifinal match-up. The game will take place on Nov. 3 with the opponent to be determined. First round match-ups in the CAC will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 1.