Thursday, 21 January 2021 12:52

Anderson, Covington cap career with All-SAC team honors

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Georgia Grace Anderson (left) and Jakerra Covington (right) were named to their second career All-SAC team. Georgia Grace Anderson (left) and Jakerra Covington (right) were named to their second career All-SAC team. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — On Wednesday morning, the Sandhills Athletic Conference released the All-Conference volleyball team for the 2020-21 season.


For the second time in their respective careers, and for the second time in as many seasons, seniors Georgia Grace Anderson and Jakerra Covington landed on the roster.

The two middle hitters for Richmond Senior High School were the only two Lady Raiders to be selected to the All-SAC squad. 

Third-year head coach Ashleigh Larsen took to social media to make the announcement, noting “their time with our program has been killer (literally)” and that there was no better way to “shut it down with an awesome honor.”

Pinecrest High School, the last remaining SAC team in the NCHSAA 4A state playoffs, lost to Cardinal Gibbons High School in the East Regional final on Tuesday, prompting the release of the All-Conference team. 

Scott Shepherd of Pinecrest, was named “Coach of the Year,” while Scotland High School’s Carleigh Carter was selected as the SAC’s “Player of the Year.”

Pinecrest had a conference-best six players named, while Scotland added four players to the roster. Jack Britt and Lumberton high schools each had three players recognized, Seventy-First High School had two players and both Hoke County and Purnell Swett received one bid.

“GGA and Jakerra were a force known across the conference over their time at Richmond,” Larsen said. “They have earned their honors this year for All-Conference. I am glad to recognize them on behalf of the program.”

Richmond finished the season with a 5-7 overall record, which saw the Lady Raiders take the fifth spot in the conference standings.

Georgia Grace Anderson, middle hitter

2nd career All-SAC selection

In her final season, Anderson was Richmond’s top attacker, notching 95 kills in 12 matches. She averaged 2.4 kills per set and 7.9 kills per match, and closed her three-year varsity career with 475 kills in 211 total sets.

Anderson’s attacking percentage in 2020 was 67 percent, the best in her career, and ended with a final tally of 52 percent. Her hitting percentage of .542 percent this season was also a career high, and she’ll leave Richmond with a .379 hitting percentage.

At the net, Anderson recorded 82 career blocks, 55 of which were solo. Her 18 aces this year added to her career total of 80 perfect serves. Five times this season she cleared 10 or more kills per match, including a season-high 14 kills against Seventy-First.

“It means a lot leaving Richmond with another all-conference selection,” Anderson said. “Jakerra and I both have put in a lot of work to be the players we are today and it’s nice to see it all pay off. 

“After a strong junior season last year, I knew that I had to work even harder to do better than last year, especially with a shortened season.” 

Anderson will continue her volleyball career at William Peace University. She signed her letter of commitment in December and said her time at Richmond prepared her for the next level. Anderson also credited Larsen with helping her grow as a player the last four years.

“My biggest takeaway of the last four years is how much I have grown as a leader,” Anderson explained. “I am definitely not that shy little girl that I was when I first started playing at Richmond my freshman year. 

“I feel that Scully trusted Jakerra and I both to be the players who were looked up to and we did that. Scully has done so much to help grow the program and I can’t wait to come back home to watch the team play next season.”

Jakerra Covington, middle hitter

2nd career All-SAC selection

This season, Covington was tied second on the team with 68 kills and averaged 5.4 kills per match. She played a total of 134 sets in her career and her career-high kills in a single season was 197 kills as a junior.

Covington wasn’t far behind Anderson with her 57 percent kill percentage in 2020, which increased her career total to 55 percent. With her strong left-handed swing, she collected a .417 percent hitting percentage as a senior, and closed her career with a .371 hitting percentage.

In 12 matches this season, Covington recorded seven or more kills in five matches, including her season-high 10 kills against Purnell Swett on Nov. 17. She also had a good career on defense, tallying 94 career blocks (61 solo).

“It was special to make it last year, but this year it’s a different kind of feeling because it’s my senior year,” Covington explained. “It feels good to go out doing all that I could have possibly done. It makes me feel like I’ve left my mark on the program.”

Covington and Anderson quickly became two of Richmond’s most dominant players on the floor during their junior season. Between their height, blocking abilities and smooth moves at the net, the pair Lady Raiders used their chemistry and friendship to lead the team.

“I’ve known GG since elementary school, and to be able to play volleyball with her in middle school and high school has been such a great opportunity,” Covington said of her teammate. “We have grown so close to one another it’s like we know what we each other is thinking during the game.

“We always have a little talk before games and encourage one another to make sure we take care of business,” she added. “It’s been my pleasure to grow with her these past years. This year GG was really my rock when I was down and she made sure to pick me up and let me know it was going to be okay.

“She believes in me and even when I got upset, she was there to calm me down and I wish her the best in her future.”

Below is a complete roster of the 2020-21 All-SAC volleyball team:

Coach of the Year: Scott Shepherd (Pinecrest)

Player of the Year: Carleigh Carter (Scotland)

Pinecrest (6): Lexi Allen, Sophi Galford, Sydney Karjala, Chloe Modlin, Emmie Modlin and Madi Ringley.

Scotland (4): Carleigh Carter, Kate Carter, Kamdyn Morgan and Kinsley Sheppard.

Jack Britt (3): Sydney Conklin, Alyssa Norton and Burneice Perofeta.

Lumberton (3): Diamond Harris, Xandria Lawrence and August Smith.

Richmond (2): Georgia Grace Anderson and Jakerra Covington.

Seventy-First (2): Shayla Battle and Jewel Pitt.

Hoke County (1): Jenns Saunders.

Purnell Swett (1): Madison Harris.

Last modified on Thursday, 21 January 2021 15:13
Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

Twitter: ROSports_