NASHUA — Notions of Salem volleyball’s demise might be a tad premature. Losing a game in the regular season gave other teams some hope that Goliath might go down this year.
But the top-seeded Blue Devils had no trouble getting past No. 4 Pinkerton of Derry 3-0 in the second boys’ volleyball semifinal Thursday at Nashua North High School. The scores were 25-18, 25-22 and 25-23.
Salem will try to win its 10th title in a row when it plays Timberlane on Saturday at Nashua North. Salem has been the only champion since the NHIAA started boys’ volleyball in 2004.
Back on May 27, the Astros gave Salem only their second defeat ever, 3-0. But since that game, the Blue Devils have won every contest 3-0.
“This team needed to be woken up,” said Salem coach John Roemer. “We needed that wakeup call, rolling through the weaker teams, we got cocky.”
“They’re very focused now. Number 10 ... the eye’s on the prize,” said Roemer.
For Salem, Pat Frydryck had 12 kills, Darren Reghini had 30 digs, Jake Slepian had 30 assists and Cole Burnham scored nine service points.
Andrew Lechner had 12 kills for the Astros and Kyle Heidler had 20 assists. Pinkerton fininished with a record of 13-5. Salem’s all-time record is now 183-2.
Third-seed Timberlane pulled off a mild upset over No. 2 Windham 3-1 in the other semifinal game. “This is what we’ve been working for all year long,” said Owls coach John Dube about making the finals. “I couldn’t be more proud of them than I am right now.”
“They (the Owls) were ready. They came with a lot of energy and improved a lot from a few weeks ago,” said Windham coach Chris Baribeau, whose Jaguars beat Timberlane in the opening game of the season.
The scores were 25-22, 25-13, 23-25, 25-21. Philip Balanoff had 43 assists for Timberlane. Cam Donelly had 10 digs and Mike Murphy had 15 kills.