Home Local Sports Dennis powers Lady Raiders to win over Southern Lee

Dennis powers Lady Raiders to win over Southern Lee

Senior Catherine Dennis leaps up to deliver one of her career-high 21 kills in Thursday's win. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — Returning to the win column on Thursday, the Lady Raider volleyball team collected its second Sandhills Athletic Conference win of the week.

Hitting the reset button to start the second round of conference play, Richmond completed the season sweep of Southern Lee High School.

Unlike their first meeting, which went to five sets, the Lady Raiders took the victory in four sets, 3-1. Scores were 25-17, 25-17, 20-25 and 25-23.

Making her presence known at the center of the net was senior middle hitter Catherine Dennis, who notched a career-high 21 kills. 

The Lady Raiders totaled 32 kills as a team, with junior middle hitter Katie Way adding 7 kills.

The aggressive attack up front was aided by a strong performance from the back row, as junior libero Allie Rodgers tallied a team-high 24 digs. 

Sophomore setter Ava Edmondson contributed 16 digs and was a big part of dishing out passes to the hitters.

Junior libero Allie Rodgers makes one of her 24 digs during Thursday’s win. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

The Lady Raiders controlled the tempo in the first set, using runs of 3-0 and 4-0 to take a 10-4 lead. Dennis had four kills in the first, and senior Quston Leviner notched her solo kill for the first point of the match.

Southern Lee (5-9, 0-7 SAC) pulled within a point, 14-13, but a Dennis kill kept the small lead. Junior Makailah Jackson recorded the first of her two kills with junior Jenna Gardner serving, starting a 4-0 spurt.

Two kills from Dennis and a Gardner ace down the stretch secured the first set win.

Rolling out to a 12-2 lead in the second, Dennis registered three more kills. Gardner added two aces on back-to-back serves and Edmondson made a smart tip away from traffic at the net for another point.

Way added a trio of kills during the middle part of the second, the last one giving Richmond a 17-9 lead. Another Gardner ace, one of her team-high five in the match, made it a 22-15 lead.


Three straight hitting errors from the Lady Cavaliers gave Richmond a 2-0 lead.

An early lead for the Lady Raiders in the third dissipated when Southern Lee used an 8-2 run to take a one-point lead. Tied at 10 points, the Lady Cavs broke it and led by as many as seven points before earning the third set victory.

The fourth frame started with a 5-1 Richmond lead, but the score became knotted up five different times, the last one being at 15 points. Dennis had her final seven kills in the fourth, with Way and Jackson adding one each.

Junior Keyoni Nichols made a push on the ball that rolled along the top of the net before finding the floor for a point, which was followed by a Jackson kill and Gardner’s final ace. That put Richmond up 22-18.

Southern Lee responded with a 3-0 run to pull within a point, causing a Richmond timeout. Way started the winning stretch with a kill, followed by two errors from Southern Lee. Dennis iced it with her final kill.

Richmond (8-8, 4-3 SAC) will host Pinecrest High School next Tuesday before traveling to Hoke County next Thursday. Both matches will begin at 6:15 p.m.

JV Lady Raiders also defeat Southern Lee

The Richmond junior varsity volleyball team capped a perfect week with its third straight win, defeating Southern Lee in three sets, 2-1.

Taking the first set 25-15, the JV Lady Raiders lost the second 18-25. Answering in the decisive third frame, Richmond earned a 15-11 set win.

Improving to 9-7, 4-3 SAC, the JV Lady Raiders will also play Pinecrest and Hoke County next week.

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Kyle Pillar is a nine-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.