Home Local Sports Richmond unable to even series with Uwharrie Charter

Richmond unable to even series with Uwharrie Charter

Freshman Kenley Smith sets a pass on Wednesday, part of a strong showing by Richmond's back row. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — Returning to its home court for some non-conference action on Wednesday, the Richmond volleyball team couldn’t claw its way past Uwharrie Charter Academy.

Meeting the Lady Eagles for the second time this fall, the Lady Raiders weren’t able to even the season series. 

Similar to Tuesday’s loss, Richmond was slow out of the gates before gaining some momentum late. The Lady Raiders lost 3-0 behind set scores of 15-25, 12-25 and 22-25.

“The girls played well enough to come back and make the third set really tight,” head coach Ashleigh Larsen commented. “Had we not missed three serves in a row, I think the ending could have been a little different. 

“We made some adjustments and were much more aggressive. Katie (Way) started swinging and had some big plays in the front. Riley (McDonald) did, too, blocking shots and getting a hand on a lot. Collectively, things were coming together. We just didn’t get it together fast enough.”

Richmond held an early 2-0 lead in the first courtesy of a McDonald kill and a hitting error. But Uwharrie Charter (12-3) chipped away and took a 7-5 lead. Senior MaKailah Jackson got a point back with a kill.

Remaining within three or four points, Richmond allowed an 8-2 run later in the set to fall behind 20-12. A 5-3 stretch by the Lady Eagles ended the set, including the final point on an ace.

Trailing 5-1 to begin the second set, McDonald notched a kill and a block on consecutive volleys. A 3-0 run for Richmond, thanks to a trio of errors, pulled the team within a point 7-6.

But a 12-2 run by Uwharrie Charter broke the set open. Jackson had one of those points on a kill and the other was an error. Following a Richmond timeout, a 6-4 spurt by the visitors closed the set with the final point coming on a kill.

Freshman Riley McDonald (9) attempts a kill during the second set on Wednesday. (Kyle Pillar/The Richmond Observer)

A better played third set saw three early ties before the Lady Raiders scored four consecutive points to gain an 8-4 lead. A hitting error was followed by a kill and a block from Way in the middle, and senior Keyoni Nichols served an ace to give Richmond its largest lead of the match.

Battling back and forth, the teams tied at 14, 15, 16 and 17 points. An ace from junior Ava Edmondson knotted it 19-19 and a kill from McDonald gave the Lady Raiders a one-point lead on the next series.


Two more ties at 20 and 21 points were followed by two straight points by Uwharrie Charter. Down 23-21, Larsen called a timeout. But a hitting error and a kill over the next three plays ended the match.

“The back row played well tonight against some good hitters,” Larsen explained. “The girls were able to get their hands on a lot of shots and did everything I asked them to do. I wanted them to be proud of all the plays they had made.”

Richmond (6-8, 3-3 Sandhills Athletic Conference) will try to end its two-match slide this week when it travels to Southern Lee High School (4-7, 1-4 SAC) to start the second round of SAC action on Thursday. First serve is set for 6 p.m.

JV Lady Raiders sweep Uwharrie Charter

Able to carry over the momentum from the previous night’s win at Scotland, the Richmond junior varsity volleyball team defeated Uwharrie Charter on Wednesday. 

The JV Lady Raiders earned the 2-0 sweep, taking the first set 25-17. In the first meeting this season, Richmond lost in three sets.

During the second stanza, Richmond trailed 15-10. But head coach Melissa Dennis rallied her players, who outscored the JV Lady Eagles 10-8 to secure a 25-23 victory. 

“The girls played really well. I was so proud to see them really hold their own on defense,” Dennis said. 

“Not much hit the ground. The second set we found ourselves in a five-point hole and were able to gain back momentum to take the game.”

The JV Lady Raiders (9-5, 3-3 SAC) also return to conference play on Thursday at Southern Lee. Play will start at 5 p.m.

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Kyle Pillar is a 22-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on X @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.