By Jim Flick
The Salem High School volleyball team fell behind 10-1 in the first game, but came back to outscore Hubbard High the rest of the match and record a 3-1 victory on Wednesday.
With the win, the Quakers remained undefeated (5-0), while the Eagles fell to 1-2.
“I just don’t think we were ready to play the first game,” said Salem coach Don Conser. “We outscored them once we started playing.”
The 10-1 deficit was Salem’s low point. The Quakers narrowed the gap to four points, and lost the game 25-18. Hubbard junior Megan DeMaiolo smashed home the game’s final shot.
But Salem won the second game 25-23, the third game 25-19, and the fourth game 25-17.
After the first game, Conser said, “We started playing like a team. We just settled in.”
Experience was a big difference between the two teams, said Hubbard coach Chuck Montgomery. He pointed out Salem started four seniors and two juniors, while his much younger team included three freshmen “who played a lot.”
“We’re depending on players with not much experience to come through,” he added. “It’s going to take half a season for us to get some experience and cohesiveness out there.
“We’ll get better,” Montgomery added. “You learn from losses like this. Young teams have to grow.”
The coaches agreed the best player on the court Wednesday was Salem’s Alexis Smith, a senior who slammed home the game’s final point. Smith was dominant, recording 24 kills and two aces against Hubbard, Conser said.
Becca Devlin, a senior, added 12 kills and three blocks for the Quakers, while senior Cassie Davidson was credited with 10 kills and three aces.
Kayleigh Null, a senior, handed out 30 assists for Salem, along with two aces. Katherine Stiff, a junior, had 18 assists, while junior Lindsey Foster contributed seven kills, two aces and a block.
For Hubbard, senior Kaitlyn Evans and junior Maris Sarisky each recorded 10 kills. Freshman Macey Sarisky added nine kills. Marquette Gasser, a junior, handed out 36 assists.
Hubbard led 1-0 in the second game before the Quakers quickly surged ahead. Davidson pounded home the winning shot.
Salem led most of the third game, but Hubbard pulled to 19-18 before the Quakers pulled away. Smith slammed home the winning point.
The Quakers scored the first point in the fourth game and never trailed. Hubbard pulled to within 12-11, before Salem pulled away.