Wednesday, 09 October 2019 23:06

Lady Raiders sweep Uwharrie Charter to cap perfect non-conference slate

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Senior Jasmine Ewing (14) collects a kill during Wednesday's sweep against Uwharrie Charter Academy. Senior Jasmine Ewing (14) collects a kill during Wednesday's sweep against Uwharrie Charter Academy. Jennie Maultsby — The Richmond Observer.

ASHEBORO, N.C. — The Richmond Senior High School volleyball team didn’t have to put their brooms away for too long, as the Lady Raiders swept their competition for the second time in as many nights.

Rounding out its 2019 non-conference schedule, Richmond traveled to Uwharrie Charter Academy and blanked the Lady Eagles 3-0. Set scores were 25-21, 25-21 and 25-23, and the victory completed the regular-season sweep against Uwharrie Charter. Richmond also defeated the Lady Eagles 3-0 on Sept. 18.

Back for her second match since returning from maternity leave, head coach Ashleigh Larsen saw her Lady Raiders close out a perfect non-conference schedule. Richmond went 8-0 against non-Sandhills Athletic Conference teams this fall, although Uwharrie Charter proved to be a tough opponent to close things out.

“Uwharrie has definitely made some changes since the last time we played and they remembered what we had done against them before,” Larsen explained. “Coach Kennell had his girls make some adjustments, which made it tough on us.

“But I’m so proud of my girls, who didn’t give up,” she added. “They played very scrappy all night, and they used the mentality of ‘relentless pursuit’ to make sure we won it in three games.”

In the opening frame, junior defensive specialist Emy Cooley had the team’s lone ace, but it was six kills from junior middle hitter Jakerra Covington that helped the Lady Raiders to the set win. Fellow junior middle hitter Georgia Grace Anderson added two kills and a block in the set.

Facing some heavy hitters against the Lady Eagles, Richmond’s back row stayed busy throughout the match. Senior libero Layne Maultsby finished the night with a team-high 19 digs, and picked up four in the first set. Cooley had a set-high seven digs and senior outside hitter Madison Jordan collected six.

Richmond collected nine more kills in the second set, seeing Anderson and senior outside hitter Jadyn Johnson each tally three. Covington was “double and triple blocked” at the net, but managed to pick up two more of her team-high 10 kills on the night. Jordan and senior setter Carley Lambeth each added an ace.

Eight more digs from Maultsby, and four apiece from Johnson and Lambeth allowed Richmond to stay sound defensively and come away with another set win.

“We got down by quite a few points in the third and really dug ourselves a hole,” Larsen said. “But we came back and won it, which big win for us because I’ve been preaching that all season. We had some small mistakes but the girls fixed them and made the right adjustments.

“Tonight there was a huge ‘pink out game’ to honor a former student, and that was a really cool atmosphere to play in,” she continued. “The girls didn’t let the crowd affect them and I think (the crowd) impacted the intensity of the match.”

The third set saw Anderson record the final four of her nine kills, and Covington capped her performance with two more. Senior right side hitter Jasmine Ewing got in on the offense, crushing a kill to finish the night with two. 

Seven digs each from Cooley and Maultsby, combined with four more from Johnson paved the way for the Lady Raider defense in the final set. Lambeth contributed 23 assists on the night, while Anderson finished the game with a team-high three blocks against the Lady Eagles’ hitters.

“Our offense was pretty aggressive, and Carley moved the ball around a lot,” Larsen closed. “Georgia Grace and Jakerra both had a big night and made the right adjustments to get kills. Madison and Carley served well, which is a regular night for us.”

“It was definitely a group effort tonight. These two big wins help us heading into Lumberton (on Thursday).”

Richmond (15-4, 7-4 SAC) will return the SAC play Thursday at Lumberton High School (11-6, 5-6 SAC). First serve is set for 6 p.m. against the Lady Pirates.

Kyle Pillar

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

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