ROCKINGHAM — Capping her high school career with another milestone, senior middle hitter Catherine Dennis is the Official Richmond County Female Athlete of the Week, presented by HWY 55.
The past week has been busy for the Richmond volleyball team, seeing it go on a rollercoaster ride through the conference tournament and first round of the state playoffs.
Securing her third career selection in two seasons, Dennis served as the Lady Raiders’ go-to and most dependable player until the very last point.
Fall Sport: Volleyball
Position: Middle Hitter
Years on Varsity: 2 years
“KILLS AND THRILLS” WITH CATHERINE DENNIS
The Lady Raider volleyball team played three matches last week, starting with an exciting upset against rival Scotland in the first round of the Sandhills Athletic Conference tournament.
No. 5 Richmond earned a 3-2 victory over the No. 4 Lady Scots, a win that would prove to be enough to launch the team into the state playoffs for the first time in three years.
Dennis was a force to be reckoned with at the net, notching a team-high 19 kills in the win, her second highest total in a match this season. Richmond earned wins in the second, third and fifth sets, and Dennis delivered 7 kills in the decisive final frame.
Helping take the second set to tie the match, Dennis knocked back-to-back kills and used an ace from teammate Jenna Gardner. Dennis added three more kills in the early part of the third, seeing the Lady Raiders take a 10-0 lead.
Continuing to chip away, Dennis knocked down a couple more kills in the third and paced the Lady Raiders to a 2-1 lead. In the final set, Dennis recorded Richmond’s first three points on kills and hit two more to make it an 11-9 lead.
Two more hard-hit kills from Dennis, coupled with the match-winner from Katie Way, completed the upset. Dennis also had one ace and a block in the win.
A night later, Richmond fell 3-0 to No. 1 Pinecrest in the semifinals. Dennis proved to be the team’s leading attacker with 6 kills and contributed two blocks.
The Lady Raiders returned to play on Saturday in the first round of the 4A East playoffs as the No. 29 seed, taking on No. 4 Middle Creek. Richmond’s toughest opponent of the season, the Lady Mustangs swept the match in straight sets.
Dennis recorded Richmond’s lone kill in the match, coming in the first set. She registered three blocks at the net.
Richmond finished the season with a 9-15 overall record, took fifth place in the SAC and had a 5-9 mark against conference opponents.
Senior middle hitter Catherine Dennis delivers one of her 19 kills in a win over Scotland last Monday. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)
RAPID RESPONSE VIDEO WITH CATHERINE DENNIS
In her video interview, Dennis talks about the wild week of play, what being a Lady Raider volleyball player means to her and reflects on her career at Richmond.
The Richmond Observer will publish its Official Richmond County Male Athlete of the Week soon.