Tuesday, 10 September 2019 22:13

Lady Raiders steam past Hoke County for sixth win in seven matches

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Senior setter Carley Lambeth (2) dishes out an assist during the third set of Tuesday's win over Hoke County. Senior setter Carley Lambeth (2) dishes out an assist during the third set of Tuesday's win over Hoke County. Kyle Pillar — The Richmond Observer.

RAEFORD — Order was restored Tuesday for the Richmond Senior High School volleyball team as it returned to action and the win column after a week away from the court.

After dropping its first match of the season last week in its Sandhills Athletic Conference opener, and seeing another match postponed due to Hurricane Dorian, Richmond steamed its way past conference opponent Hoke County High School in straight sets, defeating the Lady Bucks 3-0.

The Lady Raiders controlled the match from start to finish and held Hoke County to single digits in two of the three sets. Set scores were 25-9, 25-10 and 25-9.

The win for the Lady Raiders (6-1, 2-1 SAC) and assistant coach Melissa Dennis provided a boost and gave the team its sixth win in its first seven matches to start the season. With the sweep, the Lady Raiders also extended their winning streak against Hoke County to nine-straight matches and it proved to be Richmond’s sixth three-set win during that stretch.

“The girls were excited to play today and came out and proved themselves,” Dennis commented. “We used some really aggressive serving and made some smart plays tonight. The big thing was we stayed together as a team regardless of where the score was going.”

The air conditioning in Hoke County’s gym wasn’t working, providing both teams a sweltering atmosphere to compete in. Earlier this season at West Montgomery High School, the same situation occurred, but neither time deterred the Lady Raiders from taking home the win.

Richmond opened the first set on a 10-3 run, which forced Lashonda Huey to burn one of her timeouts after her team committed nine hitting errors during that stretch. Richmond’s other point came from junior middle hitter Jakerra Covington on one of her five kills during the match.

The Lady Raiders closed the opening set on a 15-6 run, seeing senior outside hitter Madison Jordan and junior middle hitter Georgia Grace Anderson each collect three kills in the process. Richmond also had five aces in the set, getting two from senior setter Carley Lambeth, and one apiece from Jordan, senior libero Layne Maultsby and junior right side hitter Taylor Chappell.

Senior outside hitter Jadyn Johnson started the second stanza with a kill, and added an ace from the serving line a couple volleys later. A kill from Jordan and three from Anderson in a five-point span were followed by a Lambeth kill and a Chappell ace to give the Lady Raiders a 14-5 advantage.

Again, Huey paused the game, but Richmond didn’t let off the gas, outscoring Hoke County 11-5 down the stretch. Covington had four kills in the set, and notched three of them on consecutive plays to cap the game and give Richmond a 2-0 lead.

The Lady Bucks (0-7, 0-3 SAC) dug in during the third set and provided some resistance early on, taking a 2-0 lead before seeing the lead change three times in the next five series. But a kill from Chappell ignited at 14-2 run that gave Richmond an 18-5 lead.

Jordan took over the serving line with the score 8-5, and she rolled off 11-straight points for the Lady Raiders. She had an ace during that span, and Anderson added two kills, while Johnson found empty space for another.

To finish the match, Anderson and Johnson each tallied one more kill, and junior Shelly Hoffman recorded an ace. A serving error into the net by the Lady Bucks concluded the match. The third set saw the Lady Raiders tally seven total aces, with Maultsby leading the way with three and Anderson adding two.

“The heat definitely made the girls a little bit more tired tonight, but I think it also motivated them to get finished a little faster,” Dennis said. “Because of that, we subbed a lot today and the girls stayed positive. We’re hoping we can continue to do what we did tonight to close out the week.”

Richmond finished the match with 14 aces, and Maultsby had a match-high four perfect serves. Anderson, Lambeth, Jordan and senior Jasmine Ewing each had two. Of the team’s 27 kills, Anderson led the way with eight, followed by Jordan (6) and Covington (5).

Defensively, Lambeth dished out 19 assists, while Hoffman had three and Chappell added two. Richmond compiled just 15 digs on the night, seeing Maultsby again lead the category, this time with seven digs.

“We definitely played better tonight and I thought our team communication was really good,” Chappell said. “We wanted to get back in the win column and we did that.

“It was very important for us to pick up a (conference) win because we’re trying to secure a top spot in the standings,” she added. “We need to carry the momentum from tonight into the next two matches.”

The Lady Raiders will travel to non-conference Southern Lee High School (4-2) on Wednesday, before ending the week back in SAC play against Lumberton High School at home (6-1, 2-1 SAC). Both matches will start at 6 p.m.

JV Lady Raiders defeat Hoke County in three sets

In junior varsity action, the Lady Raiders finished strong to defeat the Lady Bucks 2-1 in three sets. Set scores were 25-20, 19-25 and 15-10. Richmond’s record moved to 3-4 on the season and 2-1 against SAC opponents.

Sophomore Taylor Waitley racked up a team-high four kills, with two more coming from sophomore Allyiah Swiney. Sophomore Kaitlyn Huff and freshman Catherine Dennis each added one kill.

Richmond’s serving game was on point, as it tallied 10 total aces in the win. Sophomore Erial Norton had a team-high three aces, while Dennis and Waitley notched two. The Lady Raiders will open the contests against Southern Lee and Lumberton at 5 p.m.

Last modified on Tuesday, 10 September 2019 22:27

Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

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