Thursday night was a hard night for the Salem Volleyball team after losing their first game of sectionals to the Corydon Panthers, three games to two. Tears were shed, realizing that their season was over. The seniors had just played their final game of their high school volleyball career.
The first game began with Salem and Corydon taking turns with the lead. Salem began to gain momentum after sophomore Bailey Walker saved the ball from hitting the floor with a diving hit. The ball was returned to Corydon, where they hit it into the net. Salem pulled ahead, 12-8, but Corydon was able to retie the game after Salem made contact with the net multiple times. Corydon scored seven straight points, putting them up, by four. Salem attempted to regain, but was unable to regain a lead, losing the first game, 19-25.
The second game Salem once again kept the game close, having the same score as Corydon eight times throughout it. Even though they played them close, they were able to claim the lead as their own twice. One of those leads was the result of the game’s first point, an ace from junior Kassidy Smith. The second lead resulted from back to back spikes from junior Danielle Medalle to tie the game and then give Salem the lead, 8-7. The lead was short lived, with Corydon scoring six straight points, with them going on to win the game, 16-25.
Hopes seemed to dwindle, as the Panthers jumped out of the gate, taking a quick lead at the beginning of the third game. Salem did not let down, keeping the score close. After Corydon hit the ball into the net back to back times, Salem claimed their first lead in what seemed like an eternity. This lead gave Salem the momentum they needed to play better than Corydon’s. Sophomore Cortney Greene got the gears a goin’ with two powerful spikes, tying the game at tens. Many of the points in the third game came from multiple mistakes from Corydon, including two hits out and three hit into the net. Salem began to pull away after Medalle scored four more from spikes, an ace from senior Taylor Eastridge, and more Corydon mistakes. Salem won the third game, 25-21.
The fouth game Salem claimed as their own, having the lead throughout the entire game. Spikes from Medalle, Eastridge, and sophomore Morgan Hasty and a drop shot from junior Erica Ewen got the girls ahead of the competition, 11-2. Corydon attempted a comeback, but some well-placed returns to the back corner resulted in Salem halting their advance forward. Salem dominated the fourth game, winning 25-17.
In the fifth and final game, a 15 point game, Salem wasn’t able to continue with the momentum that they were able to build upon in the previous two games. Corydon got the first point of the game and continued to roll on to victory, 15-11.
Coach Zoma Barrett was very happy with her team. “I’m proud of my girls. I couldn’t ask for more. They fought hard and didn’t give up. They came back and went to the end.” She is proud of how the season progressed, even though they ended with the same record as last year, 10-15. “With every game, we scored more and we took every team to more sets. We are developing and we have a bright future ahead of us.”
Written by: Russ St. Clair, Staff Writer