NASHUA — Two-year starting libero Darren Righini had faith that Salem could retain its championship form, but he knew it wouldn’t be easy.
“I was confident we’d be here, but you still have to work for it, and I thought we worked really hard for this,” said Righini, a senior who is headed for Merrimack College next year, where he hopes to play club volleyball. “Timberlane is a really talented team and deserved to be here.”
Explaining how Salem was able to prevail with yet another state title, Righini said: “I think we have a really scrappy team which does what it needs to do to win.
“This was a lot harder than last year, but it feels better. We had Eric Denning last year. We relied on him a lot and I didn’t have to do as much.
“Then he got hurt for the championship and everyone else had to step up. When he was out and we still won as a team that was like foreshadowing what we did this year.”
And Righini had a lot to do with it according to head coach John Roemer.
“He (Righini) is out little sparkplug,’ said Roemer. “He’s the one who sets up our defense and he’s been sacrificing his body for two years.”
Part of the defensive strategy, according to Righini, was to try to neutralize Timberlane junior big man Cam Todd.
“We talked about it a little bit and we wanted to be extra careful,” said Righini. “We tried to keep it away from him (Todd) as much as we could.
“It worked out. This was a great win for us.”
Tourney notes: Salem athletic director Dave Rozumek went out a winner in his last Salem sporting event before retirement at the end of the month. “That’s the way to do it,” he said. ...