By Jan Clark
Inching ever closer to the .500 mark, the Richmond girls volleyball team picked up two wins in the North Central Conference Duals at Marion Saturday.
The Red Devils (7-9) defeated Indianapolis Tech 25-4, 25-10, 25-5 and host Marion 25-22, 19-25, 25-13, 26-24. The RHS junior varsity won by forfeit over Tech and 25-16, 25-15 over Marion.
After splitting the first two sets with Marion (3-14), the Red Devils exploded in the third set and then won an exciting set four on a service ace at the end by Kennedy McKee.
“We had trouble early (against the Giants) but as the day went along we picked up and played better,” said senior Ella Wilson. “We started to want it more. It suddenly dawned on us that this is what we’ve been wanting. We needed a win. We needed more positives under our belts so we pushed.”
Set one was also won at the end on a McKee ace after the score had been tied 20-20. RHS was within 19-23 in set two but fell short.
Set three was the high point of the day for Richmond. Ashley Clark started it off with a kill. Laurelai DePew, Rayonna Rogers and Lauren Uhte followed suit. Then a DePew ace, three aces in a row by Rogers and aces by Uhte and McKee gave Richmond plenty of cushion at 24-10. A Molly Morken kill ended it.
Set four was a dramatic way to end the day. Uhte and McKee began with aces followed by a Wilson kill, a Morken ace and a Rogers kill. Wilson put the Devils up 18-11 with a kill and DePew pounded one at 20-13. Then Clark stepped up with a well placed kill down the sideline to make it 22-17. A Rogers kill made it 23-19 and another Clark kill 24-21. The score was tied 24-all before RHS put it to bed on McKee’s ace.
“We had a little bit of adversity that first set when we made some changes I hadn’t planned on,” said coach Russ Uhte. “But we were able to overcome it and come out of it. We went into set two shaky but set three we played fantastic. Set four I can’t really tell you what happened. At one point we were playing fantastic and then they (the Giants) got back in it. We had to fight for it at the end.”
A busy week awaits the Red Devils starting Monday at home against rival Connersville (4-14), journey to Anderson (1-12) Thursday and compete in the Muncie Central Invitational next Saturday.
“We’re going to continue to practice the way we’ve been practicing because in the last couple of days we’ve had some really good practices,” coach Uhte said. “What I’m really looking forward to is that we get a chance to play Muncie Central again Saturday (a team that beat the Devils in five sets recently at the Tiernan Center after Richmond had led 7-1 in the 15-point tiebreaker). I’m ready for it.”
Varsity stats — Morken 16 aces, 5 kills, 10 digs, 15 assists; Rogers 4 aces, 10 kills, 6 digs, 2 blocks; Wilson 10 kills, 2 blocks; McKee 10 aces, 4 kills, 3 digs, 1 block; Juday 3 aces, 8 digs; DePew 5 aces, 10 kills, 11 digs, 1 assist; Uhte 8 aces, 5 kills, 7 digs, 25 assists; Clark 6 kills, 5 digs, 1 block; Thompson 2 kills, 7 digs, 2 assists; Weber 6 digs; Haskett 1 kill; Bosell 2 digs, 1 assist; Neeley 2 aces, 3 kills, 1 dig, 1 assist.
JV stats — Haskett 1 ace, 3 kills, 1 dig, 1 assist; Wright 3 aces, 4 kills, 1 dig; James 4 aces, 2 kills, 5 digs; Bosell 3 kills, 4 digs, 1 assist; Bopp 2 aces, 6 digs; Harrison 6 assists; Orr 4 digs, 8 assists; Warner 3 kills, 2 digs; Whichard 1 kill, 3 digs; Sikes 1 dig; Mathews 1 kill, 4 digs.