WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Salem volleyball team begins a two-day, three-match stretch on Friday, Oct. 18, when the Spirits make a trek to West Virginia to face Bluefield State at 5:30 p.m. It is the first of three matches for Salem this weekend, which will play a USA South Conference tri-match on Saturday against Mary Baldwin (2 p.m.) and William Peace (4 p.m.) in Raleigh, N.C.
The Spirits are coming off their fourth sweep of the season, second in October, which came on Wednesday evening when they downed Methodist by scores of 26-24, 25-13, 25-23 at Varsity Gym. The win was highlighted by Taylor Moulton, who notched the 1,000th kill of her career in the third set. Moulton, who also has 1,201 digs in her career as a Spirit, became the first player in program history with at least 1,000 digs and 1,000 kills.
Salem heads into the weekend led offensively by the combination of Kathryn O'Connell (171 kills), Taylor Moulton (151) and Brooklyn Snow (132). Senior setter Hannah Delcamp, who has dished out 552 assists (8.63 assists / set), has piloted the offense to 707 kills (11.05 kills / set) and a cumulative .150 attack percentage.
On defense, the Spirits have six individuals with at least 100 digs, including Moulton (192), O'Connell (189), Valeria Rosa Lopez (157), Delcamp (154), Alexis Sunderland (114) and Corrin Shores (112). Salem has combined for 1,031 digs (16.11 digs / set), along with 102 total blocks (29 solo blocks). The front row is paced by the combination of O'Connell (57 total blocks) and Anna Schneider (37).
Bluefield State (0-15-1) remains in search of its first win of the season, after suffering 14 sweeps along the way. The Big Blues, who are 0-7 at home, are led individually by the combination of Danielle Baker (23 kills), Sydney Fulp (44 assists), Cydney Vineyard (83 digs) and Baker (13 total blocks).
Salem heads into Saturday's tri-match in North Carolina's capital city against USA South foes Mary Baldwin and William Peace ranked third in the league's East Division standings with a 6-3 mark. Averett leads the way in the East Division with an 8-1 record, followed by Meredith, which is 7-2. William Peace is fourth with a mark of 5-4.
It will mark the third match of the season between Salem and William Peace, which is 15-7 on the season, The Pacers have split their last four matches, posting 3-1 wins over Methodist (Oct. 12) and N.C. Wesleyan (Oct. 14). Brienna Laskowski leads the way for William Peace with 233 kills, while teammate Brittany Carpenter has handed out 474 assists. Bergin Gillespie tops the Pacers with 328 digs, while Brianna Davis has come through with 42 total blocks (39 assisted blocks).
Mary Baldwin, who is 1-23 on the season and 0-9 in USA South action, has dropped 21 straight matches since posting a 3-0 victory over Bryn Mawr on Aug. 31 in the Route 42 Classic. The Fighting Squirrel's offense is highlighted by the tandem of Rachel Christian (303 kills) and Emma Tomlinson (605 assists), while the defense is anchored by Madison Cash (358 digs) and Madison Varner (38 total blocks).
For more information on Salem volleyball check out www.salemspirits.com.