WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Taylor Moulton, one of four seniors competing in their final match at Varsity Gym, made her presence felt against visiting Meredith by accounting for 19 kills and 13 digs. However, it was the Avenging Angels that emerged with a four-set victory by scores of 25-12, 25-21, 26-28 and 25-16.
Moulton, who tied Meredith's Caroline Corey in kills, led the way for a Salem unit that tallied 45 team kills. Joining Moulton in double figure strikes was Kathryn O'Connell (10), while senior Madelyn Chappell narrowly missed double-digit kills with nine in the match. Senior setter Hannah Delcamp added 30 assists and five digs for the Spirits, who slipped to 14-11 overall and 10-6 in USA South action.
Moulton was also active on defense with a team-best 19 digs, while O'Connell added 15 digs, two solo blocks and five assisted blocks. O'Connell notched her 11th double-double of the season, fourth in the last five matches, while Moulton now has six double-doubles to her credit. Senior Alexis Sunderland closed out her final home contest with four digs for the Spirits.
Meredith (19-8, 13-3 USA South) recorded six kills in its first 12 points, including two by Hailey Long, and bolted out to a 12-6 lead in the first set. Anna Schneider pulled the Spirits within five with a kill, but Meredith capitalized on two unforced errors and a pair of blocks to assume a 17-7 lead. Two kills from Ally Copenhaver kept the Avenging Angels' offense rolling as Salem reached double figures on a slam by Brooklyn Snow. Meredith added five points down the stretch, taking advantage of a kill by Corey along the way, to complete the 13-point win.
Facing a four-all tie early in the second set, the combination of Corrin Shores in serve and three kills by Chappell allowed the Spirits to open up a 12-6 lead. Meredith fought back and answered with a 9-3 run, highlighted by kills from Copenhaver and Corey, to pull even at 15-all. The two teams battled to six ties over the next 12 points, reaching a climatic 21-21 deadlock. Corey drove home a kill, while Hailey Long and Kenzie Moore added a series of blocks, to complete the four-point Meredith triumph.
The back-and-forth battled waged on into the third set as the two endured five ties in the first 22 points of the game. Chappell provided the Spirits with a one-point lead on a kill, quickly followed by slams from Valeria Rosa Lopez and Taylor Moulton as Salem established an 18-11 lead. Meredith scored 13 of the next 19 points, pulling even at 24 with a miscue by the Spirits. The set reached a 26-26 deadlock before a service ace by Rosa Lopez was followed by a block from the tandem of Snow and O'Connell as Salem claimed the two-point third-set victory.
Salem looked to maintain the momentum established from the third set win in the fourth, grabbing the early lead, but the Avenging Angels put together a 9-4 run highlighted by six kills and assumed the 12-6 lead. A block from the tandem of Snow and O'Connell briefly stopped the Meredith offense, which used Emily Skoglund in serve to grab a 19-9 lead. The combination of Moulton, Chappell and Rosa Lopez tacked on kills for Salem, trimming the lead to 21-14, but it was the tandem of Corey and Whitney Bolton that decided the match down the stretch for Meredith.
Salem wraps up the regular season with a tri-match at Emory & Henry on Sunday, Nov. 3, that will feature a match Sewanee (1 p.m.) and the host Wasps (3 p.m.).