Salem Blue Devils Boys Volleyball '08

Tue, Oct 28, 2008 05:30 PM @ Neutral Location
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Keene 18 14 26 20 1
Salem 25 25 24 25 3

Salem shoots for fifth straight title

  • Currently 0.0 with 0 votes.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Wednesday, October, 29 By Chuck Frye
Staff writer

DERRY, N.H. — As has become customary, undefeated Salem will compete for its fifth straight crown after downing a feisty Keene squad, 25-18, 25-14, 24-26, 25-20 in the semifinals Tuesday night at Pinkerton Academy.

The Blue Devils, now holding a nation's-best 92-game winning streak, will face No. 2 Timberlane, a 3-0 winner over Pinkerton, Friday in Derry.

Only a small Salem letdown darkened an otherwise convincing victory. With only eight players on its roster, the fourth seeded Blackbirds shook off two commanding wins and a game three deficit to topple the Blue Devils and draw within 2-1. It was only the third time Salem had lost an individual game this season, with Keene holding one of the wins.

But once the Blue Devils shook off the malaise, the offense flowed under a simple mantra — funnel the ball through junior Chris Barnes.

No. 6 was a ubiquitous presence in the middle of the court, receiving Salem’s initial passes and doling the ball out to the tune of a career-high 52 assists. Frontcourt powerhouses like Meme Okeka (a career-high 21 kills along with 11 blocks), Dan Tiner (19 kills) and Jason Kinney (14 kills) were the grateful recipients of Barnes’ perfect set-ups.

"We definitely try to find the hot hand," Barnes said. "We’re always trying to add more plays and perfect everything. We’ve been working on this since last summer."

"This was the closest match we’ve had since our first year," Salem head coach E.J. Perry said. "It’s strange not facing Keene in the finals and I thought they were playing the best of the three teams (Timberlane and Pinkerton being the others) tied for second. It’s a grudge match which is a good one, a friendly competition between the two sides."

Game Statistics:

Kills: S — Meme Okeke 21, Dan Tiner 19, Jason Kinney 14

Blocks: S — Okeke 11

Assists: S — Chris Barnes 52

Service points (aces): S — Sean Stewart 15, Barnes 9 (Chris DeMarco 1)

Additional stories:

0 Story Comments