WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – After finishing the USA South Conference volleyball slate with a 10-6 mark, which resulted in the fourth-best record in the East Division standings, Salem will square off against rival Greensboro in the first round of the league tournament at Averett, Va., on Monday at 5 p.m. A victory in the first round match will pit Salem against the No. 1 seed from the East Division, Averett at 7:30 p.m.
Salem (14-13), ended the season by winning three of its last four conference matches, including victories over N.C. Wesleyan (3-0), Greensboro (3-1) and Pfeiffer (3-1). The only setback in that stretch came against Meredith (3-1), which closed out the home slate for the Spirits on Nov. 1.
The two Triad rivals faced each other two times over the course of the 2019 campaign with Salem posting a pair of wins. The first victory came on Oct. 5 at Rocky Mount, N.C., where the Spirits prevailed 28-26, 25-22, 25-21. The second meeting was a 4-1 victory by the Spirits, on Oct. 26 in Greensboro, by virtue of scores of 25-21, 14-25, 25-20 and 25-22.
Salem had a pair of setbacks to Averett this season, suffering a 3-1 loss (23-25, 25-21, 25-15, 25-16) on Oct. 1 in the first meeting of the two programs. Later in the month, on Oct. 22, Averett posted a 3-2 win (25-18, 26-24, 23-25, 19-25, 15-10) at Salem.
Junior Kathryn O'Connell was one of four players to top 100 kills for the Spirits in USA South action, finishing with team-best 162. She was joined by Taylor Moulton (155 kills), Brooklyn Snow (114) and Madelyn Chappell (113), and highlighted a foursome which accounted for 80 percent of the kills by Salem in league action.
The offense, which averaged 11.89 kills / set and a .161 attack percentage versus USA South foes, was quarterbacked by senior setter Hannah Delcamp, who dished out 534 assists. Delcamp, who averaged 9.37 assists / set, had at least 30 assists in 11 of the 16 league matches, including a single-match career-high 51 in a clash with Averett on Oct. 22. She was also active on defense for the Spirits, posting 133 digs in league play, as she topped the double-digit plateau on five occasions. Delcamp closed out the league portion of the schedule with five double-doubles.
On the defensive side, O'Connell is also leading the way in total blocks (55), which came by virtue of 22 solo blocks. Teammate Anna Schneider has provided a formidable front for the Spirits with 29 total blocks (25 assisted). The back row is anchored by Moulton, who has 198 digs, as well as O'Connell, who has accrued 169.
Greensboro, which finished 16-16 overall and 8-8 in USA South play, closed out the season by dropping three of its final four matches, including setbacks to Averett (3-0) and William Peace (3-2). The lone win in that stretch was a 3-2 decision over William Peace.
The Pride, who tallied 1,338 kills (10.97 kills / set) during the season, are led offensively by the trio of Sarah Egbers (262 kills), Hailey Stout (257) and Carly Uhlir (241). Teammates Dixie Fulk (678) and Olivia Norris (343) top the assist leaders for Greensboro.
Uhlir, also active on defense with 382 digs, was one of five Greensboro players with at least 200 digs. The others included Fulk (286), Kayce Jo Harris (263), Addie Haywood (260) and Stout (221). On the front row, The Pride were led by Sarah Oakes (76 total blocks) and Natalie Rosinski (63), who led the way for a unit that tallied 159 total blocks.
Averett, which finished 17-15 overall and 14-2 in the USA South, awaits the winner of the match in the USA South Conference Quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. The Cougars, which won the East Division crown, are in the midst of a three-match losing streak which included setbacks to Virginia Wesleyan (3-0), Salisbury (3-2) and Christopher Newport (3-0) on Nov. 2 in Newport News, Va.
Five Cougars finished with at least 200 kills on the slate, including Lauren Montren (319), Sarah Shropshire (270), Madison Dadez (216), Zamyiah Mangum (211) and Morgan Barnes (202). Teammate McKenzie Miller ended the regular season with 810 assists (8.90 assists / set), helping Averett to finish with 1,390 kills (11.68 kills / set).
Mangum and Montren were also active on defense for Averett with 416 and 388 digs, respectively. Dadez, with 80 blocks (62 assisted blocks), along with Barnes (74 total blocks) lead the way for the Averett front row, which has combined for 180.5 total blocks.
For more information on Salem volleyball check out www.salemspirits.com.