Richmond’s girls volleyball Red Devils put up a valiant fight Monday night but visiting Pendleton Heights came back from a first game loss to win 22-25, 25-18, 28-26, 25-23 at the Tiernan Center in the season opening varsity match for both teams.
The bus for the visiting Arabians broke down on the way to Richmond on Monday, so the junior varsity match was more than an hour late in beginning, then the closely fought varsity match went on for more than two more hours.
But coach Matt Fisher of RHS was pleased with his charges in his debut as the Red Devil head varsity coach/
“Going into the match I wanted the team to be able to show intensity on the floor, that we weren’t happy with the record of last year,” Fisher said after meeting with his team after the match. “I was happy that we fought in every game, we stayed in every game, that’s all you can ask for in the first game,”
RHS was playing without sophomore standout Paetyn Claiborne, who was forced to watch the game from the bench, on crutches, with her right ankle in a splint. Fisher said she hurt the ankle this past Saturday, and it’s not known yet if the ankle is just badly sprained or broken, tests have been delayed due to the heavy swelling of the ankle.
“Paetyn has been a big hitter for us, and has been really improving,” Fisher said. “It’s tough to see her go down like that, the x-rays will hopefully tell us exactly what the extent of the injury is.”
Senior Hannah Ball had 19 digs and 23 assists for RHS, while Shelby Miller had five blocks. The hitting honors were shared by a host of Red Devils, with Kiana Claiborne leading with nine kills, but four different players had five kills or more.
Senoior Kaitlyn Helms recorded six points on serve to start the match, and the Devils were able to hold off the Arabians to win a close first game. Junior Hannah Foley had the game-winning service point for RHS.
In the more than two hours of play, and four games, Pendleton recorded 100 total points to 92 for the Red Devils. It was a back-and-forth match throughout, with RHS leading for most of the fourth game, before a late Arabian rally closed out the game and the match.
The RHS junior varsity won the first match Monday night 25-18, 25-24.
RHS next competes in the Kokomo Invitational on Saturday.