By Jan Clark
A new Richmond girls volleyball season is underway but the initial results are not to the Red Devils’ liking.
With new head coach Russ Uhte at the helm, Richmond ventured to Pendleton Heights Monday and came out on the short end 8-25, 7-25, 18-25. The junior varsity, now coached by Katie Hampton, fell by similar scores 8-25, 20-25.
The Arabians raced to a 9-1 lead in the varsity’s first set before Richmond called time out. A JaKaia Lotz kill stopped the bleeding temporarily but it was too little too late. Pendleton scored 9 of the last 10 points to win easily. Lotz and Molly Morken had a net block, Ray Rogers a kill and Laurelai DePew a block midway through the first set.
The second set started better but didn’t end that way.
Ashley Clark and Lotz had back to back kills for Richmond early on and Morken added a block and a service point a bit later but the Arabians ran off 13 consecutive points to put the set away decidedly.
“We’ve been saying all along in preseason that we have to serve well and serve receive well. We did serve receive ok but we weren’t there behind the service line tonight,” Uhte said.
“We knew if we had any chance at all we had to put serve pressure on them. Pendleton really put on a serving and hitting clinic tonight. It’s hard for us against 6-2, 6-3 girls. We don’t have anyone on our roster who can jump that high. Their outside hitter did a fantastic job.”
The third set was much closer. With Pendleton leading 8-4, Clark and Rogers came up with back to back kills and Alison Juday a service point for three straight RHS counters. Rogers and DePew had a pair of kills soon after and Lauren Uhte two service points. That brought the Devils to within 19-13.
A Kennedy McKee serve and another Clark kill set the stage for five Richmond points in a seven-point span, capped by a Lotz kill and two Juday serves. That brought RHS to within 23-18 but that was the end of the Devils’ scoring for the night.
Clark led Richmond with four kills and three digs, Juday led in digs with eight and aces with three and Uhte in assists with eight.
“We’ll find it,” Uhte said of the right combination.
Winchester visits the Tiernan Center Wednesday for the home opener before a trip to the Kokomo Invitational on Saturday.
“I think good things are ahead,” Uhte said.
Varsity stats — Clark 4 kills, 3 digs; Lotz 3 kills, 1 dig; Morken 1 ace, 1 dig, 1 assist, 2 blocks;
Rogers 3 kills, 1 assist, 1 block; Juday 3 aces, 8 digs, 1 assist; DePew 1 kill, 4 digs; McKee 2 digs; Uhte 2 aces, 3 digs, 8 assists.
JV stats — Haskett 1 ace, 1 kill, 5 digs; Wright 1 kill, 5 digs, 1 assist; James 5 digs; Bosell 3 kills, 4 digs; Bopp 3 digs; Harrison 1 dig; Orr 1 dig, 4 assists; Warner 3 digs.