More than 30 years after they last suited up the 1977 Salem Lady Wildcats volleyball team remains as one of the most successful in school history.

Coach Kathy Finney’s squad compiled a sparkling 25-4 record and its .862 winning percentage ranked second in school history at the time of its induction behind only the 1998 team’s 32-3 record and .914 winning percentage.

The Lady Wildcats compiled a 22-3 regular season record that included second place finishes at the Salem Invitational and Flora Invitational. There was no North Egypt Conference season in place at that time.

Salem captured the district championship on its home floor with a 20-1, 20-5 victory over Effingham in the opening round and a 20-18, 20-6 triumph over Mt. Carmel for the championship.

dan purcellOne of the most dominant and durable offensive linemen in Salem Wildcats, Dan Purcell was an anchor to some of the most successful seasons in the program’s history.

A 1988 SCHS graduate, Purcell cracked the varsity lineup in 1985 and helped lead the Wildcats to an undefeated North Egypt Conference championship, the first unbeaten and untied regular season in school history, a school record ten wins in a season and the program’s first ever playoff win against Troy Triad.

Purcell was also a key cog up front for the 1986 Wildcats squad that earned a three-way share of the NEC championship with Mt. and Olney. Salem went 7-3 on the season and earned another berth in the state playoffs.

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