Home Local Sports First round of conference play ends in loss at Scotland

First round of conference play ends in loss at Scotland

Senior libero Allie Rodgers digs a pass during Richmond's third-set win on Tuesday. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

LAURINBURG — Closing out the first round of Sandhills Athletic Conference play on Tuesday, the Richmond volleyball team was a couple of swings away from earning a statement win.

Unfortunately for the Lady Raiders and head coach Ashleigh Larsen, minor setbacks in the first two sets led to a 3-1 defeat at Scotland High School.

Entering the night, a win combined with a Union Pines loss could have put Richmond in a three-team tie for second place. Instead, the Lady Raiders stayed in fourth place.

The second and third sets were each decided by two points, while Scotland managed to take the first and fourth sets by six points each. Scores were 19-25, 23-25, 25-23 and 19-25.

Larsen said she was proud of the way Richmond battled back in several sets to make the match competitive.

“The girls started to make a rally in the fourth set and I thought we were going to come back and force a fifth set,” Larsen said. “In hindsight, calling those two timeouts earlier in the set helped us. But we killed ourselves with mistakes and serving miscues.

“All of our mistakes tonight are things that we can easily fix and control better,” she added. “Hopefully we can make those adjustments moving forward. All in all, to come back after being down two sets and pick up that third set, that was a big thing for our momentum.”

The first set featured eight early ties, with a kill from senior outside hitter Addyson Hollingsworth knotting it 8-8. But Scotland took the lead for good after scoring seven straight points.

Richmond trailed by as many as eight points late in the set, but continued to chip away. A block by freshman Riley McDonald and kills from senior Allie Rodgers and junior Ava Edmondson pulled the Lady Raiders within five points 19-14.

One more kill each from McDonald and Edmondson accounted for two more points, but a 6-5 run sealed the early victory for Scotland (7-4, 4-1 SAC).

Down 9-2 to start the second frame, Larsen called a timeout. Out of the break, freshman Kenley Smith notched a back-row kill and Edmondson dropped a shot straight down at the net. 

Junior Ava Edmondson (2) records a kill in the second set. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

Those points, coupled with two Scotland errors, an ace from junior Katie Way and a McDonald kill cut the team’s deficit to 12-8.

Another timeout with the Lady Raiders trailing 17-11 resulted in two quick points. Most of Richmond’s points the rest of the way were the result of Scotland miscues.

Rodgers made a diving one-handed dig which led to another hitting error by the Lady Scots, making it 23-24. But Scotland earned the next point to go ahead by two sets.


McDonald and senior MaKailah Jackson each struck the floor once early in the third. A 3-0 run that used an error and kills from Jackson and Way put Richmond up 8-5 and forced Scotland to call a timeout.

Smith dug a ball inches from the floor to start another volley that ended in a Way kill. Senior Jenna Gardner served an ace and another spike from Way built the lead to 11-7.

Scotland tied it at 11 points and the two teams tied the score nine more times in the third. A push from Way that landed inside the back right corner of the court made it 18-18.

Hollingsworth joined the scoring with a kill that made it a 23-22 lead, which caused another Lady Scots timeout. McDonald was quick to deliver a kill out of the break and secured the set win two volleys later with another kill.

A 13-2 run early in the fourth by Scotland put the home team up 16-2, appearing to doom the Lady Raiders of any comeback attempt. But a 10-3 spurt by Richmond pulled the Lady Raiders within six points 19-13.

Starting with a McDonald block, other key plays were a pair of aces from Rodgers, a push by Jackson and two more kills from Way. Several errors by Scotland added points for Richmond.

Down by nine points, Way tipped a ball and served an ace. Two hitting errors and a serving error by Scotland cut Richmond within six points 23-17.

Trying to complete the rally, McDonald and senior Keyoni Nichols each recorded a kill to pull within five points. Scotland scored on the next volley to end the match.

A busy week continues for Richmond (6-6, 3-2 SAC) on Wednesday with a home match against non-conference Uwharrie Charter Academy (11-3). 

That will be followed by a road trip to Southern Lee High School on Thursday. Both matches will start at 6 p.m.

JV team survives at Scotland

A back-and-forth affair during the junior varsity match resulted in Richmond defeating Scotland on Tuesday.

Earning a 2-1 victory, the rally win was completed by set scores of 23-25, 25-17 and 15-12.

“They never gave up,” head coach Melissa Dennis said. “After that first set, they came back out ready. We cleaned up our mistakes and were able to finish.”

The JV Lady Raiders (8-5, 3-3 SAC) will also welcome in Uwharrie Charter and travel to Southern Lee. Those matches are slated to begin at 5 p.m.

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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.