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Salem set for district showdown

October 26, 2011
B.J. LISKO - Salem News Sports Editor ( , Salem News

SALEM - Salem head volleyball coach Don Conser doesn't get in the habit of looking too far ahead.

The all-time winningest coach in Ohio high school volleyball history only really thought one thing when the Division II Boardman bracket was finalized.

"I thought if things go the way I think they should go, it should be Salem vs. Canfield in the final," he said.

Things panned out like Conser, and quite honestly what many people thought, and the Lady Quakers and Lady Cardinals will tip-off at 7 p.m. in the district final at Boardman High School.

If you're looking for a scouting report from Conser, he doesn't have one. Not that his team has really needed it. The Lady Quakers are 24-1 and finished the season ranked fourth in the Division II Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association poll. Canfield (23-1) finished eighth.

The Lady Quakers scrimmaged Canfield before the regular season, but it was the first time in more than 10 years the two teams didn't meet in a game that counted in the record books.

"I know how good they can be," Conser said. "But we have treated things as business as usual."

The Lady Cardinals' only loss this year came to Hubbard, and Salem just dropped The Lady Eagles in three games Monday night.

"We know Hubbard was able to beat them," Conser said. "We managed to beat Hubbard twice, so we feel we should be able to win the match."

Conser entered the 2011 season in an unexpected situation. He wasn't planning on coming back to coach but his former assistant who was being groomed for the position decided against it, so Conser returned for one more season.

Now that he's in yet another district final, surpassed 600 wins and set the all-time victories mark, what better way to end his historical coaching run then to win out?

"I wouldn't say that it hasn't crossed my mind," Conser said. "But I try not to think about it too much. I don't even know who or what night we would play in the regionals. But I bet if we beat Canfield I'll get on the computer tomorrow night and find out."

E-mail B.J. Lisko at



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