“That first set was a killer,” said Salem coach Russ Danstrom. “We had two chances where we were serving to win the game and we missed the serve.”
The lost momentum carried over to the second set, but Salem rallied to win the third. However, the Titans had too much for the Spartans and Salem’s five game winning streak came to an end.
“After the first game we struggled to find our rhythm, but I was proud of the way the girls came back in the third game,” said Danstrom. “We showed we could beat them.”
Telia Harris led Salem with 17 kills, eight digs and eight blocks. Janae Blakeney had 16 kills and 14 digs, Tori Clinevell had 21 digs and Maddie Bowman had 21 assists.
The Spartans were at Christiansburg last Thursday, where they won in five sets. Salem won the first two, 25-22 and 25-18, but lost the next two, 25-22 and 25-14. The Spartans then regrouped and pulled out the fifth set to 15 by a score of 15-13.
“This was a solid team effort against a solid Christiansburg team,” said Danstrom. “The girls were tired but they battled hard. Our team keeps getting better and they are having fun.”
Blakeney had 25 digs and 13 kills for Salem. Clinevell had 21 digs and five kills while Bowman added 15 digs and 35 assists to go with four kills and a couple aces. Caroline Hagy had 15 assists and seven digs.
Harris led the team with 15 kills along with nine digs and four blocks. Tanner Rowe had six digs, Maddie Hall had five and Grace Hedge had three digs. Hedge also had a block, plus she had 11 partial blocks.
Now 5-3, the Spartans are back home tonight to play host to Blacksburg, last year’s Group 3A state runnerup to Hidden Valley. The Spartans host Cave Spring next Tuesday, September 26.
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