Home Local Sports Dennis, Rodgers named to All-SAC volleyball team

Dennis, Rodgers named to All-SAC volleyball team

Senior Catherine Dennis (left) and junior Allie Rodgers (right) were named to the 2022 All-SAC volleyball team. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM —  Two volleyball players from Richmond Senior High School were named to the 2022 All-Sandhills Athletic Conference roster. 

Released late last week, senior Catherine Dennis and junior Allie Rodgers represented the Lady Raiders.

Dennis earned her second career all-conference nod, while it was Rodgers’ first selection.

The 18-player team was announced following the elimination of all of the conference’s teams from the 3A and 4A state playoffs.

Richmond finished the season with a 9-15 overall record and earned fifth place in the SAC standings. The Lady Raiders also returned to the state playoffs for the first time in three years.

Brisi Gonzalez of Union Pines High School was named the SAC’s “Player of the Year.”

“Catherine has been a dominant force on the court,” head coach Ashleigh Larsen said. “She’s put up some big blocks and put down some big kills. She is always positive and is a team player. She loves this sport and loves her teammates. 

“Allie has made some crucial saves this season on the back row to keep us in some rallies. She takes a lot of big hits to keep us in games. I am proud of both girls and their honors. They have worked hard this season to earn it.”

Catherine Dennis, senior middle hitter

Making the All-SAC in both of her varsity seasons, Dennis proved match after match to be Richmond’s biggest offensive weapon. Also prominent this season was Dennis’ leadership on and off the court, often rallying her teammates during matches.

“It means so much and it really is an honor to be recognized by my coach and other coaches in the conference,” Dennis said. “To earn it this season, I really feel like I showed my leadership on and off the court and I proved that I could be a key player on the court.”

Dennis was Richmond’s leading attacker this fall, tallying 198 total kills (8.3 kills per match). She averaged 3.0 kills per set and led the team with a 42.9% kill percentage. Her season-high 22 kills came against Southern Lee, and Dennis notched a 21-kill performance against Hoke County.

With 24 aces, Dennis was tied for second on the team. Also a force at the net on defense, Dennis collected 29 blocks.

“The biggest lesson that playing at Richmond has taught me is to always have confidence and to believe in yourself and your team,” Dennis explained. “Some words of wisdom to the younger players are to never lose your fire on and off the court and also don’t take it for granted because it’s gone before you know it.”

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Allie Rodgers, junior libero

Wrapping up her second year at the varsity level, Rodgers anchored the back row for the Lady Raiders. Often the first Lady Raider to play an opposing hit, Rodgers’ defensive efforts helped set up Richmond’s rhythm on offense.

“It feels great to earn an all-conference selection,” Rodgers said. “I think I really tried my best this season and gave 100% every game.”

Rodgers led the Lady Raiders with 404 total serve receptions and also had a team-high 396 digs. She averaged 5.7 digs per set and notched 22.0 digs per match. Also a contributor from the serving line, Rodgers totaled 18 aces this season.

Her best night was a five-set winner over Southern Lee that saw her register 58 digs. In 10 total matches, she had over 20 digs.

“I feel like I helped my team cover the floor and get the ball up,” she added. “They helped cover my bad pases. I hope to get better serving and staying positive and lifting up my teammates during games next season.”

Note: Stats used in this article were taken from MaxPreps.

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-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.