HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Salem volleyball team concluded the Route 42 Classic on Saturday, August 31, with a split in the final day of action. The Spirits began the day with a four-set win over Delaware Valley (25-18, 25-11, 24-26, 25-18) before falling in four to co-host Eastern Mennonite (25-19, 14-25, 23-25, 18-25) on its home court. Salem wraps up the first weekend of play with a 2-2 mark.
Match 3: Salem 3, Delaware Valley 1
Salem capitalized on a pair of double-digit kill outings by Kathryn O'Connell (12), who received All-Tournament honors, and Brooklyn Snow (10) as the team amassed 45 kills in the 25-18, 25-11, 24-26, 25-18 victory. O'Connell put together her second double-double of the tournament, finishing with a team-best 12 digs, while Hannah Delcamp added nine.
The Spirits also combined for 10 assisted blocks, highlighted by five from O'Connell and two each from Delcamp and Snow. Delcamp handed out a match-high 39 assists in the second win of the season for the Spirits.
Facing a three-all deadlock in the early stages of the first set, Salem used two kills by Snow to score nine of the next 15 points and assume a three-point advantage. Delaware Valley trimmed the lead to one, 13-12, but five unforced Aggie errors allowed Salem to stretch the lead to 22-14. A slam past the Aggies' defense by O'Connell, coupled with two unforced errors, allowed Salem to complete the seven-point win.
The momentum from the opening set win carried over into the start of the second set as Salem streaked out to an 11-4 lead behind six unforced Aggie errors and service aces by Corrin Shores and Valeria Rosa Lopez. Two kills from Chappell along with service aces by the duo of Snow and O'Connell helped the Spirits stretched their lead to double figures, 20-10. Snow and Chappell drove home a pair of kills in the waning stages of the set to complete the 25-11 victory.
Seven kills by the Spirits, including three from Snow, resulted in a 12-6 lead early in the third set. However, Delaware Valley retaliated with an 11-5 run of its own to draw even at 17-all. Snow got the offense back on track, forging the Spirits in front 21-19, but Delaware Valley eventually forced a 22-22 tie. The Spirits came through with kills by O'Connell and Anna Schneider, however Delaware Valley staved off the sweep with two kills and decisive service ace by Caitlin Nemil as the Aggies triumphed 26-24.
Facing a five-all deadlock early in the fourth set, Salem received a series of kills by Chappell, Schneider, Snow and O'Connell to move in front 10-8. The Aggies answered with two points of their own, pulling even at 10, but five kills and two service aces by Tricia Brown in the next 16 points resulted in a 21-15 Salem lead. Delaware Valley was limited to three points in the final stages of the set, while O'Connell drove home a pair of kills to make for the seven-point win.
Match 4: Eastern Mennonite 3, Salem 1
After wrapping up the morning session with a win, Salem returned to the court to face co-host Eastern Mennonite, who prevailed in four sets by scores of 25-19, 14-25, 23-25, 18-25. The Spirits were led offensively by the combination of Taylor Moulton (nine kills), Madelyn Chappell (nine), Brooklyn Snow (nine) and Kathryn O'Connell (eight).
Moulton and O'Connell not only left an impression on the Salem offensive, but the pair came through with 17 and 15 digs, respectively, while Corrin Shores and Alexis Sunderland contributed nine apiece. Hannah Delcamp piloted the offense with 39 assists.
The Spirits established themselves early in the match, jumping out to a 5-1 lead in the opening set behind timely kills from Chappell and Anna Schneider. Separated by just two points, 9-7, Salem took advantage of kills by Snow and O'Connell to spark an 11-5 run and move out to an eight-point advantage. Kills by Chappell, Mouton and O'Connell put the Spirits on the brink of clinching the match, which came on a pair of strikes by Schneider.
Eastern Mennonite bounced back in the second, this time grabbing a 9-7 lead of its own, but four kills in an eight-point stretch by Snow allowed the Spirits to pull even at 12. Meredith Stinnette drove a kill past the Salem defense, putting Tori Wigley in serve, as the Royals established an 18-12 lead. Two points by the Spirits was not enough to derail Eastern Mennonite offense, which took advantage of seven unforced errors to even the match at 1-1.
With the Royals' offense clicking on all cylinders, and owning a two-point lead in the third set, kills by Moulton and Valeria Del Rosa helped Salem trim the margin to 10-9. Eastern Mennonite again moved in front by two, 14-12, before a 6-0 run that came with Stinnette in serve resulted in an eight-point cushion.
The back-and-forth third set continued when the Spirits answered with a 5-0 outburst, resulting in a 20-18 score. A kill by Snow, coupled with attack errors by Sarah East. trimmed the margin to 22-21, but Eastern Mennonite completed the win on a series of unforced Spirit errors.
The tightly-contested match rolled on into the fourth frame with Eastern Mennonite clinging to a 10-9 lead after an error by Hannah Johnson. The Royals took advantage of four kills in the next eight points to establish a 17-10 lead on a Johnson kill. Two kills each from Moulton and Chappell were not enough, as the Royals owned a 23-17 lead in the final stages. Eastern Mennonite capitalized on a kill by Johnson and teammate Amy Goodman to complete the match victory.
The Spirits return to action on Friday, Sept. 6 when they head to Brevard, N.C., for a 6 p.m. clash with the Tornados. For more information on Salem volleyball check out www.salemspirits.com.
Route 42 Classic All-Tournament Team
Bridgewater (4-0) - Grace Hayes
Bryn Mawr (0-3) - Casandra Paiz
Catholic (1-3) - Caroline Kelly
Delaware Valley (0-3) - Caitlin Nemil
EMU (3-1) - Andrea Troyer
Lynchburg (3-1) - Lauren Stanford
Mary Baldwin (1-3) - Rachel Christian
Meredith (3-1) - Caroline Corey
Salem (2-2) - Kathryn O'Connell
Wilson (2-2) - Tia Jones