RAEFORD – In its first match since the Labor Day break, the Richmond Senior High School Lady Raiders volleyball team kept up its winning ways, shutting out Sandhills Athletic Conference opponent Hoke County High School 3-0 Tuesday night.
The Raiders (9-0, 4-0 SAC), who continue their historic opening to the season, captured yet another road conference win. The Lady Bucks (4-6, 2-2 SAC) never posed a major threat to Richmond, losing in straight games 25-15, 25-23 and 25-12.
Head Coach Shellie Wimpey, who has coached the Raiders to their longest winning streak in the last decade, acknowledged how her team has been successful by means of developing as a cohesive unit on the floor
“Over the first nine games, we have really progressed the way I’ve wanted to,” Shellie said. “Our girls are passing the ball well even when we don’t get the best digs or passes. Winning nine in a row has been a great feat, and I’m excited to keep it going.”
Receiving dominating play from its core group of seniors, including middle hitters Brianna Baysek and Owen Bowers, and outside hitter Altman Griffin, Richmond also got offensive and defensive support from underclassmen.
Junior outside hitter Savannah Lampley, who was quiet during last week’s three matches, emerged against the Lady Bucks, picking up three kills and six digs. Emerging off the bench, sophomore outside hitter Allexis Swiney added help on defense, tallying three digs and one block, while also getting a kill.
Bowers and Griffin finished the night tied with a game-high eight kills. Griffin, who has solidified her place as the Lady Raiders’ floor general, also served four aces and dug the ball 12 times. Bowers had a modest five digs, while sophomore libero Layne Maultsby held down things defensively, tacking on 10 digs of her own.
“Defensively tonight, our girls achieved their goals,” Wimpey said. “We also adjusted really well to Hoke’s low gym ceiling, which can sometimes interfere with the offense’s fluidity and rhythm.”
The Lady Raiders, like they have all season, started the match hot and dominated the floor. Wimpey credited her team’s passing play and ability to make adjustments on the fly as the key success in Tuesday’s win. But again, they fell into a lull in the second game, but were able to shutout their opponent for the sixth time in nine tries this season.
The junior varsity team also picked up another win, improving to 7-2 on the year. The JV Lady Raiders held their opponent to a shutout also, winning 25-15 and 25-8.
Head coach Ashleigh Larsen said that the stats across the board were even, as her team played well together and managed the ball to where it needed to be. Hoke County didn’t put up tough competition, and freshman middle hitter Georgia Grace Anderson served up nine aces.
“Our girls continue to improve,” Larsen said. “I want them to be more aggressive on offense, but Georgia Grace did an excellent job serving. We set the ball in the right places and allowed our offense to get points quickly.”
Both Lady Raiders teams are back in action Wednesday night, as they travel to non-conference opponent Union Pines in Cameron, N.C. The Lady Vikings are 6-2 to start the year, and may pose a threat to Richmond’s perfect record. Varsity is set to begin at 5:30 p.m.