Undefeated Salem eyeing deep postseason run

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SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Entering the 2021 season, the Salem Quakers set high expectations.

“We’re going to state this year,” said Salem junior Hanna Gaither. “We’re going to beat West Branch and we’re going to go to state this year.”

So far, the Quakers are on track to meet those expectations. Salem is currently undefeated with an 11-0 record and ranked 15th in the state.

“I always had a lot of confidence in this year, especially with all of our success last year,” said senior Clara Double. “I knew that we were going to come out and try to be better than we were. A lot of people doubted us, but I knew we were going to be good again.”

This season, the Quakers have outscored their opponents 57-5. Leading the explosive offense is speedster Rylee Hutton. The sophomore is the team’s leading scorer with 22 goals.

“She’s the fastest…ever,” Double said.

“She’s fast,” Gaither added. “She has a lot of skill. She’s always up there. She’s ultra aggressive. She just wants the ball all the time.”

The Quakers have just six regular season games left, but their final stretch is not going to be easy.

“The beginning of our year pushes us,” said Head Coach Kent Paulini. “There was a small lull and now these last six are definitely going to test us, get us ready for the tournament. We’re going to be pushed probably harder than we’ve been pushed all season over the next three weeks as we move into the tournament.”

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