North Salem Gives Haldane a Battle

Stephanie Blackwood celebrates a point. Credits: Rob DiAntonio

NORTH SALEM, N.Y.— While a team may suffer a loss when it competes against a  top-notch opponent, it only gets better in the long run.

North Salem battled Class D state finalist Haldane, but fell 3-1 at the Tigers’ homecoming on Sept. 24.

“It definitely helps with our confidence to compete with a team that has had such great success,” North Salem coach John Veteri said. “We made some adjustments throughout the game to try and match up against their big hitters. I was happy with the fight our girls had both on and off the court throughout the entire game.”

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The Tigers dropped the first set 25-16 and quickly fell behind in the second set, but rallied to pull out a 27-25 win in front of an enthusiastic crowd at North Salem High School.

“We were communicating with each other in the second set,” Veteri said. “We played very well defensively thanks to our libero, Brianna Perez, who kept a lot of plays alive for us throughout that an entire set. It was fun to watch.”

The Blue Devils took the next two sets by scores of 25-18 and 25-16.

Perez (eight digs), Lauren Smith (six kills), Amanda Santos (six aces), Stephanie Blackwood (two blocks) and Leah Feniger (nine assists) led the Tigers, who fell to 4-3.

Two days earlier, North Salem fell to Class AA power John Jay-East Fishkill in straight sets: 25-20, 25-13, 25-19.

“It was an excellent test for us early in the season playing John Jay and Haldane,” Veteri said. “It helps bring our level of play up and shows the girls that we can compete with the bigger schools. We have to stay focused, play together and most importantly have fun.”

Simone Schnarwiler had five aces, while Santos dished out four assists.

North Salem recorded a straight set win (25-9, 25-22, 25-19) over visiting Hastings on Sept. 19.

Blackwood (five kills, five aces, two blocks), Schnarwiler (five aces), Santos (four aces), Lauren Smith (four aces), Perez (four digs) and Feniger (five assists) were the main contributors in the win.

North Salem travels to Putnam Valley for a 4:30 p.m. game on Sept. 29 and then heads to Valhalla for a 3:30 p.m. contest on Oct. 1.

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