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Spirits, Cougars Prepare For USA South Conference Battle

Spirits, Cougars Prepare For USA South Conference Battle

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – The Salem volleyball team, which is locked in a third-place tie in the USA South East Division standings with William Peace, will host divisional leader Averett at Varsity Gym on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m.

It is the first of three matches for Salem this week, who also faces N.C. Wesleyan and Greensboro in a USA South Tri-Match on Saturday in the Gate City. Averett and Salem last met on October 1, with the Cougars emerging with a 3-1 win in that contest.

The Spirits (11-9, 7-4 USA South) are 5-1 at home this season, winning four straight since posting a 3-1 victory over Piedmont International on Sept. 17. Salem won two of three matches last week, downing Methodist (Oct. 16) and Mary Baldwin (Oct 19) by 3-0 margins, before suffering a 3-0 setback to William Peace.

Salem, which has tallied 435 of its 781 kills on the season in conference action, is led individually by the combination of Kathryn O'Connell (186 kills), Taylor Moulton (160) and Brooklyn Snow (160). The offense is quarterbacked by Hannah Delcamp, who has handed out a team-best 603 assists (8.61 assists / set).

Defensively, the combination of Moulton, who leads the Spirits in digs (263), and O'Connell (63 total blocks), has stymied opposing offenses. Opponents have a .148 attack percentage against Salem and are averaging 11.2 kills / set.

Averett (13-11, 10-1 USA South) enters the week on a three-match winning streak, which began with a 3-1 victory over Meredith on Oct. 16. The Cougars are 4-5 on the road and 4-3 in neutral site matches.

The duo of Lauren Montren (246) and Sarah Shropshire (213) lead the way for the Cougars in kills, while McKenzie Miller has dished out 777 assists, guiding the way for an Averett unit that has amassed 1,090 kills on the slate.

The Cougars have capitalized on the play of Morgan Barnes and Madison Dadez, who have tallied 64 total blocks and 52 assisted blocks, respectively, in limiting opponents to a .140 attack percentage in 2019. The back row combination of Zamyiah Mangum (357 digs), Lauren Montren (309) and Myka Patterson (253) have also played a key part in Averett's defensive success.

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