By Jan Clark
This night belonged to Richmond’s three seniors — Zoee Woolridge, Justice Mays and Kierra Wright.
The Red Devils defeated crosstown rival Seton at the Tiernan Center Tuesday 25-14, 25-22, 25-22 while the junior varsity ended its season at 15-6 by winning 25-22, 25-23.
“We’ve had trouble finishing games all year long so I wasn’t surprised we came out and made some mistakes that second set,” said coach Matt Fisher.
“But we were able to get back on track and what they did a really good job of tonight was going after the game plan that we had prepared. Our seniors really played a big part in that.”
Wright was particularly effective with 13 kills, two of them coming at the very end of the second set. A Woolridge kill put an exclamation mark on set three.
Set two was tied 17-17 until Wright took over. In set three Richmond led by only 19-18 when another Wright kill turned the tide.
“This is the best we’ve been this year but we have to keep pushing,” Fisher said. “We’ve got to push to the very end. There’s gonna be teams that are better in our sectional that are really going to test us so we have to stay mentally tough and just keep pushing. I think in every game we get a little better. We’re learning to finish and that’s good news.”
The senior trio was asked the same three questions in an early interview — what are your emotions as your high school career nears an end, what do you think the future of the program looks like and what are your plans after high school?
Wright — My feelings are very mixed but I will miss it. The future looks solid if they stay together. Next year I plan to go to college for basketball but I haven’t picked a school yet.
Woolridge — I have mixed emotions. I’m happy I got this far but I’m sad it’s ending. I think the future is going to be really good because all the younger players have played really well. I plan to go to college or to be an EMT or Fire Rescue.
Mays — I only have one emotion — it’s been a long four years and it’s kinda sad to see it end. I think in the future the girls will be very successful. Next year I plan to go to college to be a radiologist.
Seton (11-15), which has won four consecutive sectional titles, has two seniors on its squad, Paige Klaine and Taylor Haager.
“At the end of the day our three seniors are really good volleyball players but they’re much better people,” Fisher said. “They’re people I hope will stay in touch with me as they get a little older but I’m just glad we’ve had them as long as we have and I will be sorry to see them go.”
Saturday the Red Devils (12-15) will host the North Central Conference tournament, the final event prior to the Sectional at Greenfield.
“We’re going to start off (the NCC tourney Saturday) against Kokomo and they gave us a great run earlier in the year,” Fisher said. “We were able to come back and win against them but they have an extraordinary outside/middle hitter (senior Adria Hartley). We have to find a way to stop her. That’s going to be our main focus. We’re not looking past anybody.”
Varsity stats — Wright 13 kills; Woolridge 5 digs, 1 block; Mays 1 ace, 6 kills, 3 digs; Morken 6 aces, 1 dig, 20 assists; Thompson 1 ace, 1 kill, 1 dig; Wilson 1 kill; Rogers 3 kills; Juday 2 aces; DePew 2 aces, 3 kills, 5 digs, 2 blocks; Clark 4 digs; Uhte 1 ace, 1 dig.
JV stats — Uhte 2 aces, 2 digs, 6 assists; Bosell 2 digs, 1 assist; Weber 1 ace, 4 digs; Lotz 4 kills; McKee 8 digs; Marshall 1 kill; Neeley 1 kill, 2 digs; James 3 aces, 2 kills, 4 digs; Hunter 1 kill, 3 digs; Cartee 1 dig.