By Jan Clark
Saturday was a predictable day for the Richmond girls volleyball team, finishing 2-1 in the RHS Invitational. Closing out the home season, the Red Devils, now 13-12, defeated Franklin County 25-15, 25-11, defeated Fort Wayne North 25-16, 25-10 and lost to a good New Palestine outfit in the finals 25-17, 25-11.
“I thought we played really really well this morning and I knew we were going to have a hard fought match against New Pal,” said coach Russ Uhte. “They have some heavy hitters on the front row and we knew we were going to have to be especially good on defense against them. Unfortunately we weren’t able to pull it out.”
The Red Devils were never seriously challenged in their matches with Franklin County and Fort Wayne North. Against New Palestine, set one was much closer than set two.
In set one JaKaia Lotz had back-to-back kills early on followed by an Ashley Clark kill and a Laurelai DePew service ace. Clark had another kill to keep Richmond close 8-10. A DePew kill, Molly Morken kill and Rayonna Rogers ace highlighted the latter stages of the set but the Dragons kept their margin intact. Richmond trailed 9-2 and 14-3 to open set two and New Pal stayed comfortably ahead.
For the day, Clark led Richmond in kills with 11 and shared honors in blocks with Ella Wilson, two each. DePew led in digs with 20, Morken in assists with 24 and Lauren Uhte in aces with eight,.
The Red Devils now anxiously await the IHSAA state tournament draw at 7 p.m. Sunday. They return to action next Saturday in the North Central Conference tournament at Logansport.
“I think I’m about as nervous as anybody about the draw,” coach Uhte said.
Cumulative stats — Clark 11 kills, 2 digs, 2 blocks; DePew 6 aces,10 kills, 20 digs, 1 block; Uhte 8 aces, 2 kills, 7 digs, 17 assists; Morken 3 aces, 4 kills, 15 digs, 24 assists; Rogers 4 aces, 8 kills, 6 digs, 1 block; Wilson 3 kills, 3 digs, 3 assists, 2 blocks; Juday 4 aces, 18 digs; McKee 6 aces, 5 kills, 1 assist, 1 block; Lotz 7 kills, 2 digs, 1 block; Wolfe 10 digs, 3 assists; Weber 11 digs; Thompson 3 digs.