PREP VOLLEYBALL Salem tops Canfield in MAC test
The Quakers jumped out early and won two straight matches.
By CHUCK HOUSTEAU
SALEM -- Salem High volleyball coach Don Conser was happy to see his team get off to a fast start against Metro Athletic Conference rival Canfield after a disappointing loss to Boardman the night before.
The Quakers (2-2, 1-0 MAC) raced out to a 7-0 lead in the first match and went on to defeat the Cardinals (1-2, 0-1) 15-10, 15-6 on Thursday.
"We played much better tonight," Conser said. "The night before we played poorly against Boardman, so it was nice to see us bounce back."
Conser said that he was pleased to see his team play solid offense against Canfield.
"We knew that Canfield has a solid defense," he said. "So we knew we had to attack them and hit the ball well."
Canfield coach Ronie Haurin said she never saw the Quakers hit the ball any better than they did in this contest.
"They did a great job of hitting," Haurin said. "I've seen them play this year and they haven't hit the ball as well as they did tonight."
Quaker standout: Leading the way for Salem was 6-foot sophomore Lauren Teal who had three aces, four kills and a block.
"I don't know that Lauren led the way tonight, but that was the best game that she has played this year," Conser said.
Although the Quakers got off to the fast start, Canfield didn't quit and battled Salem in the first game. The Cardinals cut the lead to 8-4 and after another Quaker run, Canfield made the match interesting by scoring four straight points to threaten at 14-10 before dropping the game.
"We came out flat," said Haurin. "We haven't played in over a week and it showed tonight.
"We were able to make a run at them at the end of the first match and I thought that we would be OK," she said. "But then we lost our momentum in the second game."
Canfield junior Jill Vertanen helped lead the first game comeback by playing strong defense along the net. Vertanen finished with four kills and five blocks.
Vanessa Schutz also had four kills and four blocks for the Cardinals, while Ginny Naples had four assists.
For Salem, Tiffany Heestand had eight kills and three blocks while Taylor Hendricks had three kills and a block.
Young team: The Quakers play four juniors and six sophomores and Conser made sure all of them see plenty of action.
"Being a young team is a mixed blessing," Conser said. "We have no senior leadership but we are building a solid foundation for the future."
But in the same breath, Conser noted that he expects this young group to be very competitive this year and he felt they took a big step toward that with the win over a good Canfield team.