Home Local Sports Lady Raiders Volleyball Remains Undefeated; Quiets Anson 3-1

Lady Raiders Volleyball Remains Undefeated; Quiets Anson 3-1

Senior outside hitter Altman Griffin drills one of her 18 kills during Wednesday's match against Anson.

ROCKINGHAM – After starting the 2017 campaign with three straight wins on the road, the Richmond Senior High School varsity volleyball team hosted Anson High School Wednesday. The Lady Raiders kept up their winning habits, defeating the Lady Bearcats 3-1.

Richmond (4-0) jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, and managed to take the fourth game following a blunder in the third. Head coach Shellie Wimpey has strongly emphasized the imperativeness of getting started right out of the gates, and keeping opposing teams on their heels. And on its heels early and often were the Lady Bearcats (1-2).

The Lady Raiders came out hot, taking the first game 25-13. After a sluggish start with the game tied at six, Richmond ran the court, firing off a 19-7 run. Passing the ball well, in conjunction with stout defense and blocking, the Lady Raiders looked right at home.

“We came out ready to play tonight,” Wimpey said. “Our girls played with a lot of energy and played really well together as a team.” 

In a total team effort, Richmond looked to be in midseason form, traversing the court and stacking the scoresheet. Senior outside hitter Altman Griffin had another strong performance, slamming a game-high 18 kills, and digging the ball 11 times. Wimpey acknowledged not only Griffin’s power and skill, but also her ability to command the floor as a leader.

“Altman has stepped up so much this year,” Wimpey said of the 2016 conference player of the year. “She is confident in the way she plays and has become a great leader. The game is so fast sometimes that I can’t relay information quickly enough. So it’s important to have a team leader who can do that for me.”

Richmond breezed through the second game, jumping out to a quick 14-4 lead. Anson put together a small rally, cutting the lead to seven, but Wimpey’s team was too much to handle.

Senior setter Mackenzie Webb was an important asset all night, volleying 39 assists. Senior middle hitter Owen Bowers picked up 14 kills, and junior outside hitter Savannah Lampley added 15 digs. Sophomore defensive specialist Layne Maultsby held her own, supplying nine digs and helped work Richmond out of trouble.

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Finally getting its first lead of the game, Anson put up a modest fight in the third game. Following a Richmond timeout with Anson leading 23-21, the Bearcats took advantage of their slight lead and won their only game of the night 25-23. The Lady Raiders battled but failed to adjust.

“We didn’t play well in the third game,” Wimpey said. “We were slow to the ball and we allowed Anson to score seven points off the serve. That can’t happen.”

Rebounding quickly in the fourth game, Richmond matched the first game’s score 25-13, sealing the victory.

The junior varsity team lost its match earlier in the evening, falling to the Lady Bearcats 2-1. Richmond got out to a solid start, winning the first game 25-19, but failed to keep the momentum going.

The Lady Raiders (2-2) dropped the next two games 25-12 and 25-21, respectively. Fighting for the victory, the third game was a back-and-forth battle that was knotted at 18. Anson pulled away late on a 7-3 run to close the match.

“The girls beat themselves tonight,” head coach Ashleigh Larsen said. “We weren’t able to communicate and couldn’t finish routine plays.”

Freshman middle hitter Jakerra Covington and sophomore setter Carley Lambeth “carried the team,” with Covington racking up seven kills and two aces. Lambeth added one ace and 12 sets.

Both Lady Raiders teams will host Purnell Swett High School (Robeson County) Thursday night to open Sandhills Athletic Conference play. Junior varsity is slated to start at 4:30 p.m., followed by varsity at 6 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.