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Seminoles drop a pair in volleyball season opener

The Salem volleyball team came up just a bit short in its season opener Tuesday.

Despite surviving six game-point situations the Seminoles fell 28-26 in game three to drop a 2-1 match to Redan in non-area play.

Redan led the rubber game 22-16 before Salem got an ace from Simone Gadson and Trentkela Clements’ block-kill to pull to within 22-20. A Salem error and Kayla Pierce’s kill pushed Redan’s lead out to 24-20 and set up game point. Salem wouldn’t quit, collecting four consecutive points, including two straight block-kills from Brittney Kilgore, to tie it at 24-24.

Redan got back to a game-point situation twice more, but each time Salem evened things up, first on a kill from Bria Jones, then on a Redan error. The Seminoles ran out of magic after that and a kill by Dayani John and a Salem error put the game and the match away.

Savoy Lovett (four kills, two aces and two assists) and Tamoi Robinson (two kills and three assists) led Salem to a 25-21 win in the opener. Redan had pulled to within 19-18 before Lovett’s ace got the Seminoles started on a quick, 5-1 run for some breathing room.

In the middle game, the visitors from DeKalb County erased an early 6-5 deficit and used seven Salem errors to help build a 13-7 cushion. Gadson secured an ace and the Seminoles were as close as 13-9, but Redan’s 11-3 spurt made it 24-12 and Shantiria Johnson’s kill clinched a 25-13 victory and forced a deciding game three.

Ola defeated Salem 2-0 in the first match of the night, using a big run in each game to pull away.

In game one, Jones and Robinson teamed up for a block-kill that pulled Salem to within 12-7. Ola used a strong service game to take control after that. The Mustangs picked up four of their seven aces over a 13-1, game-ending stretch, three of who came from Kelley Adkins during a 7-0 run that made it 19-7. Adkins’ service error got Salem to within 19-8 before Riley Cid’s kill off a feed from Noell Stanton and a Georgia Martin ace helped Ola score the final six points of a 25-8 victory.

Salem held a 9-7 lead in the second game on the strengths of two Robinson kills and a Robinson assist on a kill by Lovett. The game was tied on seven occasions, including at 12-12 after an Ola error. But much like the opener, the Mustangs used a strong service game to embark on a game-changing run. Taylor Hall had three aces and Cid chipped in with three kills during a 10-0 spurt that put the Henry County school up 22-12. Salem, which didn’t pick up an offensive point after Lovett’s kill, got as close as 22-14 on a pair of Ola errors, but ultimately fell 25-15.