By Jan Clark
Monday was a great time for girls volleyball Senior Night at Richmond High School. The Red Devils, cheered on by a raucous student section, dominated Rushville 25-19, 25-17, 25-14 as seniors Molly Morken, Rayonna Rogers, Ella Wilson and J’naya Thompson played their last regular season dual home match. The junior varsity ended its season on a winning note 25-20, 25-14.
Of the four seniors, Rogers had her most dominating match of the season — 10 kills, four service aces, seven digs and one block. Morken led in assists with 21, sophomore Laurelai DePew in digs with 17.
Richmond’s front line stood tall in this one with 35 kills. Sophomores Ashley Clark and Kennedy McKee backed Rogers up with six kills each. Clark led the team in blocks with two. Richmond is now 11-11 on the season.
“I thought Saturday when we beat Muncie Central that that was our high point but my girls proved me wrong tonight,” said coach Russ Uhte. ‘I was stunned how well we played tonight. I can’t wait to see the stats on how well my front row played. They played fantastic.”
The Lions jumped out to an 8-2 lead in set one before back-to-back kills by Clark and Rogers tied the score 10-10. Another Clark kill made it 11-11. Down 15-13, the Red Devils picked up the pace. Two straight Morken aces put Richmond in front 21-17. Morken also had a neat corner shot and McKee a timely kill before it ended.
Richmond’s front line really went to work in set two. Three McKee kills, aces by Rogers and Lauren Uhte (2), kills by DePew and Rogers and a Rogers ace ended it. Set three was all Devils. A DePew kill and an ace by junior Alison Juday put RHS up 10-7. Kills by Clark and Wilson, a Rogers ace, another kill by Clark and McKee, a Morken kill and a DePew kill polished it off.
Richmond stays at home Saturday for the RHS Invitational. The Devils play Franklin County (3-13) at 9 a.m. followed by Fort Wayne North (2-10). Teams in the other pool are Union County (13-6), Monroe Central (12-10) and New Palestine (11-8).
“It should be a great day. We should be able to take first in our pool and that would set us up to play a really good team to end the day with,” coach Uhte said. “If my girls come out and play like this, I have no doubt what we’ll do on Saturday.”
Richmond’s four seniors were asked two questions prior to Senior Night — what are your emotions before your last regular season game and what are your plans for next year. Here are their replies:
Morken (who also plays basketball) — “It’s really sad for me because I’ve played volleyball for 12 years. It will be very different not to be playing any time after this. I had a lot of fun playing. I definitely plan on going to college and major in early childhood education but I’m not sure what school yet. I don’t plan to play sports in college but I might get myself involved in rec leagues.”
Thompson — “I know that all things have to come to an end at some point. It’s been a very good ride. I’ve enjoyed all the good and the bad. Next year I’m definitely going to college but I’m undecided about my major. I’m going to Ball State.”
Wilson (who transferred to Richmond from Centerville two years ago) — “It’s really sad but it’s been good for me to experience playing at two different schools. Ending my volleyball career here is the best way it could have ended. I plan to go to IU Bloomington.”
Rogers — “It’s sad. The last five years has been volleyball for me year round. Next year I’m not sure where I want to go but I want to major in criminal justice. I’ll try to play volleyball in college. I had a recruiter here tonight to see me play.”
Varsity stats — Rogers 4 aces, 10 kills, 7 digs, 1 block; Morken 2 aces, 2 kills, 8 digs, 21 assists, 1 block; Wilson 2 kills, 6 digs, 1 block; Thompson 4 kills, 9 digs; Juday 1 ace, 6 digs, 1 assist; Clark 6 kills, 6 digs, 2 assists, 2 blocks; McKee 6 kills, 4 digs; DePew 1 ace, 4 kills, 17 digs, 1 assist; Uhte 3 aces, 1 kill, 7 digs, 8 assists; Weber 9 digs, 1 assist; Lotz 3 digs.
JV stats — Haskett 1 ace, 3 kills, 5 digs; Wright 5 aces, 2 kills, 4 digs; James 4 kills, 7 digs; Bosell 6 aces, 2 kills, 10 digs; Bopp 3 digs; Harrison 1 kill, 2 digs, 3 assists; Orr 1 ace, 7 digs, 4 assists; Warner 2 digs; Whichard 2 kills, 1 dig, 2 assists; Matthews 4 digs; McClain 1 kill.