10 - October 14, 2011 Salem Patriot
by Chris White Entering last Friday’s contest with a 7-3 record, the Salem Blue Devils knew they would be challenged when they welcomed the undefeated Merrimack Tomahawks (10-0) to town. Merrimack’s line-up featured a host of athletic players, plus some hard hitters known for fueling the team’s potent offensive attack. The Blue
Devils embraced the challenge, though, thwarting Merrimack’s offense and handing the top-ranked team its first loss of the season, 3-1 (25-13, 25-13, 14-25, 25-16).
A number of Salem Blue Devils stepped up in a game that took the form of a playoff-like atmosphere. Statistical leaders for the Devils included Jackie Cone (21 kills, 14 service points,
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Salem libero Rachel Morrissey deflects an incoming ball to a teammate
five aces), Amanda Bickford (four blocks), Rachel Morrissey (18 digs), and Kelsey Card (34 assists). Steph Long (11 kills, 10 service points) and Jenn Merrill (three blocks) also contributed strong efforts and were difference makers in the victory. “It was a complete team win,” Salem coach
Dan Young said. “I think we were extremely focused on serving tough, talking a lot, and playing aggressive defensively. Those three things
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Salem’s Jackie Cone sends the ball back to Merrimack’s side
allowed our offense to pick up.” The Devils carried their momentum to Dover on Monday, winning easily by the count of 3-0 (25-18, 25-11, 25-20). Salem was led by Cone (18 kills), Long (14 service points), Card (23 assists), Bickford (three blocks), and Morrissey (13 digs). After the win against Dover, Salem’s record improved to 9-3 on the season.
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Staff photos by Chris White
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