By Daniel Whitehead
BUENA VISTA, Va.—Although the Southern Virginia University women's volleyball team earned a first-set win over visiting Salisbury University, the Seagulls won the three ensuing sets to claim a 3-1 (17-25, 26-24, 26-24, 27-25) victory over the Knights Saturday evening at Knight Sports Arena in Buena Vista, Va.
With the loss, Southern Virginia falls to 11-8 on the season while Salisbury improves to 22-4. The Seagulls entered Saturday's match receiving Top 25 votes in the latest AVCA Coaches' Poll.
"Our girls played some of the best volleyball I have seen them play this year," said Southern Virginia head coach Paige Hiatt. "Salisbury is a great team and we played up to their level. We had too many errors that you can't afford to give up against a great team like that. It's hard to play so well and not win the game at the end, but Salisbury took care of the volleyball consistently and came out on top."
Junior Kaitlyn Eaton led the Knight attack with 14 kills for the match while senior Shyanne Ison contributed 11. Senior Tori Tuttle provided nine kills with sophomore Shannon Romito earning five throughout the game. Altogether, the Knights' 43 kills came up a bit short to the Seagulls' 56 on the night.
Defensively, freshman April Bennett had 13 digs on the night with Tuttle, Tlustek and freshman Claire Houghtaling each registering five. Tuttle also achieved two solo blocks and three assisted blocks while Eaton and Romito each had five block assists.
Salisbury's Katie Stouffer and Julie Poston led the Seagulls with 15 and 12 kills, respectively, to help achieve the victory. Setters Gretchen Vandermeer and Kacey Franz achieved respective totals of 21 and 22 assists to guide the Seagull offense.
The Knights remain at home for a Wednesday matchup with Marymount. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Knight Sports Arena in Buena Vista, Va. On Saturday, Oct. 26, the Knights host the SVU Tri-Match with games against Penn St. Harrisburg (12 p.m.) and Roanoke (4 p.m.)