GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Salem volleyball completed the Guilford College Invitational on Saturday afternoon with a three-game setback to Maryville (25-20, 25-14, 25-15) and a five-set loss to Guilford (12-25, 25-17, 25-16, 23-25, 15-10) at Ragan-Brown Field House.
"We're still working on some things to become a more efficient offensive unit and some of those pieces are coming together faster than others," said Salem head coach Bouaketh Chanthavisouk. "What remains steady is this team's desire to improve. Even a small change that probably doesn't show up in a box score; they're willing to make it even if it's uncomfortable."
MARYVILLE 3, SALEM 0
The duo of Dejan Hester-Taylor and Meredith Bonee, who combined for 22 of Maryville's 41 total kills, combined with 10 assisted blocks allowed Maryville to keep the Spirits' offensive attack in check in the opening match on Saturday. Salem managed just 27 kills, highlighted by Brooklyn Snow's team-high seven, as the offense posted a .042 attack percentage.
The two teams battled to four ties in the first 22 points, bringing the game to an 11-all deadlock, before Maryville put together a 6-1 run that resulted in a five-point cushion. A series of kills kept the Spirits within striking distance, which came when a service error by Maryville's Saidee McDaniel put Delcamp in serve. The senior responded to the challenge by forcing an attack error, collecting a service ace and using kills by Anna Schneider and Snow to trim the deficit to two, 22-20. However, Maryville responded with the final three points to pull out the five-point win.
Three kills off the hand of Bonee, along with eight unforced errors by Salem, opened the door for a 13-7 Maryville lead early in the second frame. Taylor Moulton came out of the timeout with a slam past the Scots' defense, quickly followed by kills from Rosa Lopez and O'Connell, but Maryville managed to stretch the lead to 19-10. Salem converted four points over the remainder of the set, while the Scots came through with four kills and took advantage of an unforced error to complete the victory.
The Maryville offense rolled out to a 10-1 lead in the third set and never looked back, again capitalizing on the service game of Brianne Sidner. Four kills in the next eight points from the combination of Rosa Lopez, O'Connell, Moulton and Snow helped Salem trim the margin to four, 14-10. Leading by three points, 15-12, after an attack error by Bonee, Maryville would put together a 7-1 run to forge ahead by nine. Kills down the stretch by Sidner and Hester-Taylor, along with a service ace from Kamea Nash proved to be the difference.
GUILFORD 3, SALEM 2
Guilford used a well-balanced offense, which included at least seven kills from five players, to earn a five-set victory over Salem in the final match of the tournament. The Quakers (6-4) were led offensively by Jasmine Gaines (14 kills) and Tina Eucker (35 assists), while receiving solid defensive performances by Bryce Smith (22 digs) Eucker (12) and Gaines (11) to limit Salem to a .054 attack percentage.
Kathryn O'Connell led all Salem hitters with 13 kills, while Taylor Moulton emerged with 11. O'Connell completed her double-double performance with 12 kills, while Moulton added 17. Teammate Valeria Rosa Lopez led the Spirits in digs (21), while Alexis Sunderland added 11.
Salem assumed a 4-3 lead early in the opening set, but with Jenna Myer in serve the Quakers responded with seven unanswered points to move in front 10-4. Rosa Lopez broke through with a kill for the Spirits, but five unforced errors by Salem in the next nine points allowed Guilford to stretch the lead to 16-7. Brooklyn Snow drove home a kill, putting Moulton in serve, which resulted in a service ace and a kill by Delcamp, but the Quakers extended their lead to 18-11. Guilford allowed just one point over the remainder of the match to grab the opening set win.
The Spirits offense put together the big run in the start of the second frame after reaching a three-all deadlock as Corrin Shores' service game along with three unforced Guilford errors resulted in a 9-3 advantage. Kills by O'Connell, Shores and Delcamp in succession forced a Quaker timeout with Salem holding a 13-7 lead. Guilford scored six of the next 10 points, pulling to within four, but it was timely kills by Moulton, O'Connell and Delcamp that kept the Spirits in front 23-17. A Moulton kill coupled with an attack error by Christian Ritter tied the match at 1-1 and gave Salem the eight-point win.
The start of the third set mirrored the second as the two teams traded the first 22 points, making for an 11-all tie. Four unforced errors by the Quakers resulted in a three-point cushion for Salem, 16-13, as Shores took over in serve. The junior capitalized on three Guilford errors, while acing Makayla Felton, to make for a 19-14 advantage. Guilford managed just two points over the remainder of the set, while the Spirits received kills from Anna Schneider, Snow and Moulton in succession to earn the 25-16 win.
Looking to seize the opportunity to pick up the victory, Salem took advantage of a service ace by Sunderland and two kills each from Moulton and O'Connell as the Spirits fought to an 11-all tie in the fourth. The two teams went back-and-forth with neither one leading by more than three as the game reached a climatic 23-23 tie. With Morgan Tompkins in serve, Guilford came through with a pair of service aces to force a decisive fifth set with a two-point win.
The two teams continued to trade points in the early stages of the fifth set, which endured five ties in the first 18 points, including a 9-9 deadlock following a kill by Moulton. Guilford used two kills by Gaines and a service ace from Cameron Blankenship to grab a 12-9 lead. Blankenship remained in serve, following a timeout by Salem, and used two kills by Gaines and an unforced error to earn the five-point win.
The Spirits return to the floor on Tuesday night when they host Piedmont International for their home opener at 6 p.m. For more information on Salem volleyball check out www.salemspirits.com.