By Jan Clark
Alison Juday and Amanda Wolfe were honored at the Tiernan Center Tuesday as the Richmond girls volleyball team observed Senior Night. And for the first time in four years, the Red Devils defeated Union County, this time in four sets 25-19, 25-12, 25-27, 25-19. Union County won the junior varsity match 25-14, 25-20.
If there was one area that stood out for Richmond it was its front row where the Red Devils piled up 47 unofficial kills on the night. Leading the way was Ashley Clark with 17, JaKaia Lotz with eight, Kennedy McKee and Haylee Haskett seven each, Laurelai DePew five and Lauren Uhte three. In addition, Uhte was highly proficient from the serving line with nine aces. All are juniors.
“They made a game of it, they sure did,” Richmond coach Russ Uhte said of the Pats. “By the time we got into that third set Union County had figured out a game plan that was gonna work against us and then they went out there and executed it. I told my girls when we started set three that you guys can’t check out yet. They’re still wanting to win this. They didn’t want to lose tonight and I knew that coming in. But it’s pretty hard not to win when you’re producing like we did out of the front row.”
The Red Devils started strong in set one on eight straight service points by Lauren Uhte, three of them aces. A Lotz kill put Richmond up 10-2. Then Union County stopped the bleeding with nine of the next 12 points, the key RHS counter a Haskett kill.
Then Clark took over. Four kills and an ace by Ashley, a Uhte kill and a DePew ace made it 23-15. A McKee kill after a Patriot rally ended it.
Kills by Clark and Haskett opened set two. Clark went on another tear with four more kills to put Richmond up 19-9. Kills by Uhte, Lotz, DePew, two by McKee and aces by Uhte and DePew were highlights. At this point Richmond seemed in total command of the match, up 2-0.
And it appeared Richmond might win out 3-0, except Union County canceled a near great ending by the Devils. With the score tied 24-24, Clark hit possibly her best kill of the night down the left sidelines to put RHS up 25-24. But Union County reeled off the next three points to win the set.
Clark and Haskett each had two kills at the early part of the third set and Uhte strung together four aces as Richmond went from a 10-8 deficit to 16-10 lead. Three more kills by Clark plus singles by McKee and Uhte were not enough, however.
Now came set four. Richmond took a quick 6-1 lead on aces by Uhte and Clark, two Lotz kills and a Lotz block. Two McKee kills and a DePew kill made it 14-11. Two more Clark kills made it 19-15. With the score 19-17, Richmond finished strong, scoring six of the last eight points on a McKee kill, Juday ace, McKee ace, Uhte kill and two straight DePew kills to put a bow on the night.
Richmond, now 3-4, travels to Centerville Thursday.
“We’re pretty excited to go on the road Thursday,” coach Uhte said. “We know it’s their senior night and we’re glad to get them back on our schedule. We know it’s gonna be a great match. Some of the girls play club ball together. There’s also an effort to get a four-team tourney put together for Saturday at Centerville.”