WINSTON-SALEM — Several old friends and rivals met again in Winston-Salem on Thursday afternoon.
The official notation from one play in the college volleyball match between Pfeiffer University and Salem College read: (Kaylee Freed) Kill by Cameron Sloop (from Maggie Hawks), Point Salem. That was just one of many plays in the Spirits’ victory over the Falcons in which Freed, a former Lady Greyhound now starting at middle hitter for Pfeiffer, took on several players from local ties on Salem, including her former high school teammate Hawks, the starting libero for the Spirits; Sloop, a freshman hailing from East Surry; former Surry Central defensive specialist Grayce Goins, and sophomores Taylor Moulton of South Stokes and Hannah Delcamp of West Stokes.
Pfeiffer must need more players from this neck of the woods, because the outcome was a 25-16, 25-14, 25-18 victory for the Spirits, who won their 13th match of the year and moved within two wins of tying the school’s all-time record for victories in a single season.
The Falcons, who are struggling in their first season as members of the USA South Conference, got an early shot in the arm from Freed, who scored a kill with her team already down 4-1 in the opening set, then stepped to the service line and delivered an ace. This allowed Pfeiffer to run off four straight points and take the lead before the Spirits’ Stokes connection stopped her, with Delcamp assisting on a kill by Moulton.
Eventually, every one of the local players got into that opening set, but Salem had the edge throughout, and also in the second set. Freed was again on serve in set three, when the Falcons jumped out to an early 8-2 lead, but the Spirits (14-7, 5-3 USA South) went on a long run with Sloop service and Hawks and Delcamp scoring multiple assists, tying things up 10-10. Salem held the momentum the rest of the match and went on to the sweep.
Delcamp had 42 assists to lead everyone, and Hawks led the Spirits with 11 digs to go with two aces.
Salem played again on Saturday in a doubleheader at Greensboro College and defeated the Pride 25-19, 25-18, 25-23, but in their first chance to tie the school record for wins, Salem lost to William Peace 28-26, 18-25, 25-19, 25-23. Delcamp led Salem with 19 assists in the win over Greensboro, while Moulton had eight kills and Sloop six. In the match against WPU, Moulton had 18 digs and Hawks 17.
Salem will try to tie the wins record again on Tuesday at Methodist, a team they have already defeated once this season. If they win, the Spirits can break the record when Hollins comes to town on Thursday for a non-conference match.
Pfeiffer went on to play again on Saturday as well, losing to USA South power Averett and then to host N.C. Wesleyan in a tri-match in Rocky Mount. Freed started in both matches for the Falcons, scoring four kills against the Cougars and three against the Battling Bishops. Her team plays again at home on Wednesday against Meredith.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.