EMORY, Va. – The Salem volleyball team concluded the 2019 regular season on Sunday at a tri-match held by Emory & Henry. The Spirits began the day with a 25-8, 25-13, 25-22 setback to Sewanee and ended the afternoon session with a four-set setback (24-26, 26-24, 22-25, 23-25) against the host Wasps.
Match 2: Emory & Henry 3, Salem 1
Taylor Moulton drove home a match-high 14 kills, while Kathryn O'Connell (14 digs / 12 kills) and Valeria Rosa Lopez (13 digs / 12 kills) came through with double-double performances. Junior Corrin Shores was also active defensively with 17 digs.
O'Connell capped off the match with seven assisted blocks, while Rosa Lopez assisted on five blocks. Meanwhile, Hannah Delcamp dished out 45 assists.
After an O'Connell kill knotted the opening set at three-all, the Wasps scored nine unanswered to assume a 12-3 lead. Salem (14-13) countered with eight kills and two service aces, both from Alexis Sunderland, to draw even at 22. Delcamp assisted on a block with O'Connell and added a kill of her own, giving the Spirits a 23-22 edge, but two service aces and a kill by Carley Williams closed out the two-point victory for Emory & Henry.
The back-and-forth battle continued into the second frame where the two battled through six ties before reaching a 10-all deadlock. Three kills off the hand of Snow extended the Salem lead to 18-13, forcing a Wasp timeout. O'Connell and Moulton came through with timely kills, stretching the margin to 22-18, before a six-point run by Emory & Henry made for a 24-22 Wasp lead. Snow answered with a block, while the combination of Rosa Lopez and Anna Schneider added blocks, before a Rosa Lopez kill tied the match at 1-1 for the Spirits.
Salem broke a six-all tie in the early stages of the third with a series of Rosa Lopez service aces, eventually stretching the margin to four, following a series of slams from Snow. O'Connell and Moulton came through with kills, stretching the margin to 18-13, but Emory & Henry (9-18) rallied with five straight points to make for an 18-all score. Four ties later, with the two knotted at 22, Williams provided the Wasps a lead with a kill as they scored the final three points down the stretch.
Looking to knot the match at two-all, Salem took advantage of two kills from Rosa Lopez en route to an 8-8 tie. Emory & Henry put together an 8-2 run, highlighted by Abbie Jennings in serve. The Wasps would not surrender the lead down the stretch, despite Salem pulling to withinone with kills by Chappell and Delcamp, as they claimed the two-point win.
Match 1: Sewanee 3, Salem 0
The Spirits struggled to find their offensive rhythm in the clash with Sewanee, who claimed a 25-8, 25-13, 25-22 victory at Emory & Henry on Sunday afternoon. Taylor Moulton, with five kills, Madelyn Chappell and Brooklyn Snow, who drove home four kills apiece, led the way for the Salem offense.
With the opening set knotted at seven-all, following a kill from Anna Schneider, Sewanee amped up its defense and took advantage of four service aces and two kills by Lilly Reilly, to score 18 of the next 19 points and claim the decisive win.
The Tigers continued to click on all cylinders in the start of the second set, jumping out to a 5-2 advantage, following a strike by Chappell. Sewanee doubled the advantage, 12-6, before a service ace by Rosa Lopez put Salem at double figures, 22-10. The Tigers surrendered three points down the stretch before claiming the 25-13 win.
Salem came out firing in the third frame, behind three kills from Rosa Lopez and Moulton as the Tigers clung to a 9-8 lead. The Spirits continued to push for the lead, eventually pulling at 18, before a pair of unforced errors provided Salem with a 20-18 advantage. Sewanee capitalized on a series of miscues by the Spirits, moving ahead 23-21, before kills by Ellie Pedersen completed the Tiger sweep.
Salem will now turn its attention to the USA South Volleyball Championships, which begin on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at Averett in Danville, Va. The Spirits will meet rival Greensboro at 5 p.m. in the first round of the tournament. For more information on Salem volleyball check out www.salemspirits.com.