Nicole Venturelli has put together a successful college volleyball career at Salisbury University, where the Liberty High School graduate is becoming one of the all-time great offensive players in program history.
And she started this fall by hitting a milestone.
Venturelli began the season with 987 career kills, and posted 12 in the Sea Gulls’ third match to eclipse 1,000 kills. Venturelli achieved the feat Sept. 1 in Salisbury’s match against Cal Lutheran.
The former two-time Times first-team all-county pick is the seventh player in Salisbury history to reach 1,000 career kills, and her 1,143 kills are seventh most all-time for the Gulls.
Venturelli’s first two seasons at Salisbury saw her post 265 kills in each campaign, an average of 2.8 per set. Her junior season was different — Venturelli posted 457 kills, the fourth most in program history, and averaged 4.2 per set.
She’s averaging 3.2 kills per set in college to this point.
Venturelli, a 5-foot-9 outside hitter, earned first-team all-Capital Athletic Conference honors in 2017. The Sea Gulls reached the CAC semifinals before falling to Christopher Newport.
The last few weeks have been just as impressive for Venturelli, a 2015 Liberty grad.
She racked up 30 kills Sept. 14 against Catholic — tied for fourth best in a match in Salisbury history — and added 23 digs despite a 3-2 loss (she had 17 kills and 14 digs against Cardinals on Sept. 8, a five-set Sea Gulls win).
Venturelli has 35 kills in Salisbury’s last three matches, including 12 in her team’s 3-0 win over Moravian last Saturday.
She leads the CAC in kills (156) and kills per set (3.12).
The Sea Gulls’ roster also includes Francis Scott Key grad Gabby Fox, a 5-9 senior outside hitter.
A big debut for Pearson
Misericordia University sophomore John Pearson (Century) made a solid statement in the Cougars’ first football game of 2018. Pearson, a linebacker, totaled 11 tackles against United States Marine Merchant Academy.
Pearson ranks second on the team with 18 tackles, and also has 0.5 sacks.
Misericordia’s roster also features senior running back Clayton Vleck (Francis Scott Key), who has 41 rushing yards and 8 receiving yards through two games this fall.
Sibling success at Muhlenberg
Brothers Max and Spencer Kirin, both Liberty graduates, are playing football together at Muhlenberg, and the brothers are contributing to the Mules’ success.
Max Kirin, a junior wide receiver, snagged a 38-yard touchdown pass in Muhlenberg’s 14-3 win over Dickinson on Sept. 8. He has 11 receptions for 191 yards and one TD.
Kirin ranks third among Centennial Conference receivers with 95.5 yards per game.
Spencer Kirin, a sophomore linebacker, made five tackles Sept. 15 in the Mules’ 37-34 overtime win against Susquehanna.
Some Green Terror fall tidbits
Jensyn Koontz (Manchester Valley) scored her first collegiate goal in McDaniel’s field hockey game Saturday against Ursinus. The Terror lost 7-2, however, and fell to 0-5 (0-1 Centennial).
The junior midfielder/forward has one goal and four assists in two-plus seasons for McDaniel. Koontz was the Times Player of the Year in 2014.
McDaniel’s men’s soccer team is 3-1-1 (1-0 Centennial) heading into Tuesday’s home game against Goucher. Drake Pew scored his fourth goal of the year, tops on the team, to beat Ursinus 1-0 last Saturday.
Pew earned Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the week honors Monday.
The Terror’s women’s soccer team is 4-1 (1-0 Centennial) heading into Wednesday’s road matchup with Gettysburg. Senior forward Lindsey Farrell and sophomore Kristen Worry are tied for the team lead with five points apiece.
Sandy Lagana (South Carroll) is in her seventh season as McDaniel coach.
The Green Terror’s volleyball team is off to a 9-1 start (1-0 Centennial) with a road match coming Wednesday at Gettysburg. Sophomore outside hitter Marlowe Embry leads the team with 2.61 kills per set, and 86 kills.