By Jan Clark
One day removed from a tense five-set conference victory at Muncie, the Richmond girls volleyball team won its fifth match in a row Tuesday by dispatching Lincoln of Cambridge City 25-22, 25-18 and 25-14. Richmond’s junior varsity took the preliminary in three sets.
Now 6-4, the Red Devils were a bit sluggish at the start and the tiring effects of the marathon on the road the night before were understandable.
“We’re just focusing a lot more in practice,” said Richmond junior Haylee Haskett who ripped off four kills in the second set. “We’re not goofing around as much and we’re much more connected than we have been before. You just gotta keep going and you gotta keep playing.”
Obviously Richmond coach Russ Uhte likes the results of the last two nights.
“It was really a late night Monday night and I wasn’t sure what we’d see on the court tonight,” he said. “The girls played really really well (at Muncie) and overall I’m pleased with the outcome (against Lincoln). Our girls are performing at the top of the NCC right now. Our goal Monday night was to take Muncie out so we can get a higher seed in the conference tournament.”
Juniors Laurelai DePew and Ashley Clark combined for an unofficial 27 kills against the Golden Eagles. These two plus junior setter Lauren Uhte were ranked at the top or near the top of various conference volleyball categories this week.
The Red Devils jumped off to a 10-2 lead in set one on kills by Clark, Haskett and Kennedy McKee and a block by DePew. Three straight DePew kills and two more by Clark ended what turned out to be a close set at the end.
Clark and Haskett had kills to open set two for Richmond but the Devils fell behind 8-3. It was later tied at 9, 10 and 14 before Haskett and DePew dominated the offense. McKee also had two service aces and Taliyah Brewer a kill.
With setter Uhte (first in the NCC in assists and aces) distributing the front row sets, Clark opened set three with back to back kills, Haskett had another kill and Alison Juday an ace. With Richmond leading 12-5, Clark, who is leading the NCC in kills, notched three consecutive kills. DePew, No. 2 in the conference in hitting percentage and No. 3 in blocks, matched that feat a bit later and McKee an ace near the end as the Devils ended the match with four straight points.
Richmond returns to action Saturday at Anderson against Marion and Indianapolis Tech in the NCC Duals.