EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

January 3, 2014

Here comes Salem!

After slow start, Blue Devils still a threat

The outlook for Salem’s 2013-14 season looked so promising at the end of last winter.

The Blue Devils were set to return, Annie Alosa, the 2012-13 Eagle-Tribune Coach of the Year, and their top four returning scoring leaders: Emily Hickey (15.7 ppg, 52 3-pointers), Brenna Blakslee (13.7 ppg, 21 3-pointers), Amanda Bickford (9.4 ppg) and Allie Sirmaian (6.3 ppg, 29 30-pointers).

But then some bad news came: Alosa accepted a full-time assistant coaching position at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh.

That left the seniors with their third coach in four years and having to learn another new system during a year when a final four appearance appeared in grasp.

But no so fast ...

Salem has started 1-2 but its goal remains the same with new coach Michaela Galvin, a 23-year-old former Salem star.

“My goal personally for the team is definitely final four,” Hickey said. “From there we’ll see what happens. But I think people are kind of underestimating us with another new coach. Coach knows that we all want to win and we’re really motivated.”

Galvin has won over the players.

“She’s young,” Hickey said. “She can relate to us to even better than coach Alosa could. And she kind of knows how we’re thinking and how we’re feeling. And I also think a little differently she’s open to our opinion because we have a heavy senior class. She works well with us to make the transition seamlessly because it’s been kind of crazy. I’ve had three high school coaches.”

Hickey said Galvin recognized the players felt frustrated over the program’s recent instability at head coach.

“We run a lot at practice,” Hickey said. “We always try to play to our game-plan. We’re usually just run-and-gun. We want to be really scrappy and I think that was just because coach was a lot like that. She was a guard. She was quick. So I think she’s bringing her game to us.”

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