ROCKINGHAM — Several members of the Lady Raider volleyball team put on a hitting clinic during Wednesday’s non-conference win over Anson High School.
Aggressive play at the net from the middle and outside hitters, along with clean passes from sophomore setter Ava Edmonson, helped the Lady Raiders take their second match in as many nights.
After dropping the opening frame, Richmond took the next three sets to earn a 3-1 victory. Set scores ended in tallies of 24-26, 25-20, 25-20 and 25-11.
Senior middle hitter Catherine Dennis and junior middle hitter Katie Way combined for 24 of the team’s 40 kills, both reaching double-digits. Dennis collected a team-high 14 kills, while Way found the hardwood 10 times.
Adding to the attack, senior outside hitter Quston Leviner tacked on seven kills, with junior right side hitter Makailah Jackson finishing with four kills.
Junior Christi Jacobs and Edmondson both had two kills, and junior Addy Hollingsworth won the match with her lone kill.
A 3-0 serving run by Edmondson started the first set, which featured two kills from Way and another from Jackson. One of junior libero Allie Rodgers’ three aces in the match tied the score at seven points.
Junior Jenna Gardner made three consecutive digs during the same volley to set up a kill from Dennis, starting a 4-0 run to give Richmond a 15-12 advantage. But a 14-9 by the Lady Bearcats (5-2) saw the visitors regain the lead and take the first.
Way and Jackson got right back to work in the second to dig Richmond out of an early 4-0 hole. Jacobs served an ace and Way and Leviner each found the floor to keep the Lady Raiders ahead 10-8.
Jackson notched another kill, starting a 5-0 run that put the home team up by seven points, 17-10. Down the stretch, Dennis collected three kills and Way chipped in one more to secure the five-point set win.
The third set followed a similar script with Richmond’s hitters bringing the heat. Dennis had four kills in the set, Way and Leviner had two each and Jackson and Jacobs added one apiece.
Four early ties were broken open by a Dennis spike, igniting a 10-6 run that resulted in a timeout called by Anson.
Leading 18-14, two Leviner kills, a tip by Dennis and another Gardner ace put it out of reach. Cementing the set win was a kill from Way.
Putting the Lady Bearcats on their heels, the Lady Raiders used a series of forced errors and an 11-point serving run from Gardner to secure the win in the fourth. Rodgers added a 6-0 serving spurt to give Richmond a 10-4 lead.
Leading 10-6, Gardner got into a rhythm and got help from her teammates to break the stanza open. Dennis, Edmondson and Leviner all contributed with points, while Gardner served her final ace.
Richmond’s final two points came on kills from Dennis and Hollingsworth, respectively.
On defense, four Lady Raiders had double figure digs — Rodgers (19), senior Joy Styles (12), Edmondson (11) and Gardner (10).
Richmond (6-4, 2-1 Sandhills Athletic Conference) gets a chance to sweep a three-game homestand this week with an SAC match against Union Pines (6-3, 2-0 SAC) on Thursday. Varsity action will start at 6 p.m.
JV volleyball suffers loss
The Richmond junior varsity volleyball team saw its season-long losing streak continue against Anson on Wednesday.
The JV Lady Raiders fell in three sets, 1-2, by scores of 14-25, 25-21 and 7-15. The non-conference loss made it three in a row.
Head coach Melissa Dennis and the JV Lady Raiders (5-5, 1-2 SAC) will also host Union Pines on Thursday, beginning at 5 p.m.