WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Behind the trio of Kathryn O'Connell (12 kills), Taylor Moulton (18 digs) and Madelyn Chappell (10 kills) the Salem volleyball team avenged an earlier setback to Pfeiffer with a 25-19, 24-26, 25-14, 25-18 victory over the Falcons at Varsity Gym on Wednesday evening.
O'Connell, who recorded her 13th double-digit kill performance of the season, finished with a .226 hitting percentage along with eight digs and three solo blocks. Moulton, who led the way for the Spirits (14-10, 10-5 USA South) back row, also contributed nine kills as she became the program's all-time kills leader. Chappell put together her fourth double-digit kill performance in her last six matches, while assisting on a pair of blocks.
Corrin Shores also reached double figure digs (13) as did freshman teammate Valeria Rosa Lopez (10). Anna Schneider was responsible for four service aces, while Hannah Delcamp dished out a match-high 32 assists.
The two teams traded points throughout the opening set, enduring nine ties in the first 28 points, before reaching a 14-all deadlock on a slam by Moulton. With O'Connell in serve the Spirits forged in front 17-14, but Pfeiffer (12-14, 3-11 USA South) answered with three straight points to for a 17-17 tie. Kills down the stretch by Rosa Lopez, Moulton and Chappell provided Salem with a 22-19 advantage, forcing a Falcon timeout. Schneider added her second straight ace and O'Connell followed as Salem picked up the six-point win.
The two teams again traded points in the early stages, reaching a nine-all tie in the second following a service ace by Delaney Geygan. Salem eventually moved in front by three, but the Falcons countered with a 7-1 run and snagged the 18-15 advantage. Timely kills by Delcamp, Moulton and Chappell allowed Salem to pull even at 23-all. With the set knotted at 24, a series of unforced errors allowed Pfeiffer to even the match at one-all with a two-point victory.
Salem stormed out to a 9-3 lead in the third, capitalizing on four kills, including two from O'Connell. The Falcons trimmed the deficit to four, following a service ace by Kaitlyn Kilts, but three unforced errors coupled with kills from the trio of Chappell, Moulton and O'Connell provided the Spirits with a 20-14 lead. O'Connell took over in serve and came through with three service aces and a kill to slam the door with an 11-point victory.
With momentum on its side, Salem again grabbed the early lead, 7-1, behind five kills, including two from Moulton and O'Connell. The lead reached seven, 14-7, following a service ace by Shores, but Pfeiffer fought back to pull to within three, 17-14. Timely kills by Moulton, Schneider and O'Connell provided the Spirits with a five-point cushion, 21-16, as Schneider took over in serve. Salem capitalized with strikes by Chappell and O'Connell down the stretch to avenge the earlier loss at the hands of the Falcons.
Salem wraps up the home portion of its schedule on Friday, Nov. 1, when the Spirits host Meredith at 7 p.m. for Senior Day. For more information on Salem volleyball check out www.salemspirits.com.