During warmups for Thursday’s Richmond volleyball match against Anderson, the Red Devils said at some point, “Let’s play this game like it’s our last.”
Then it hit senior Hannah Ball. It was.
Ball was one of six seniors honored prior to the season-ending match against Anderson, and the setter paced the Red Devils to a 3-0 victory over the NCC-rival Indians.
Ball had 35 assists as the Red Devils won 25-21, 25-20, 25-18.
Seniors Ball, Brooklyn Taylor, Kiana Claiborne, Kaitlyn Helms, Sommer Lewis and Hunter Thomas played the last home game of their careers.
“Warming up, in our huddles, we said, ‘Let’s play this game like it’s our last,'” Ball said. “That’s when we all realized, ‘OK, this is our last home game, we’ve got to bring it.'”
And bring it they did.
Down 10-4 early in the first game, RHS coach Matt Fisher called a timeout and the seniors responded.
They went on a 6-1 run to pull within one.
“Really, at that time, we were making a lot of mistakes, and we just needed to get them (the Indians) out of their system, and start playing our ball,” Fisher said. “It’s obviously senior night, and our seniors stepped up and did what they needed to do.”
Anderson again started pulling away, but Richmond kept the pace and finally took a lead at 15-14. The Indians would tie the game just twice more, before the Red Devils pulled out the victory.
In Game 2, the Devils had an early 4-0 lead, but saw it evaporate as Anderson rallied. Again the seniors responded, taking a lead at 10-9 and holding it for good.
“I think the seniors just stepped up, because it’s our last time playing at home and we didn’t want to lose, so we just came out and played our hardest,” Helms said.
” … It hit me when it was the last game. I didn’t realize it the first two, but coming into the last game, I finally realized it was our last game at home and it was really sad, so we wanted to come out with a win.”
Helms and Lewis led the Richmond offense with 13 kills apiece, while Claiborne added eight and Taylor had six. Sophomore Shelby Miller had two aces and four kills.
The Red Devils (14-17, 3-4) play Greenfield-Central in the opening round of the Class 4A Sectional at Greenfield-Central next Thursday.
“I think some of our goals are just to go out and play our hardest,” Helms said. “I know we don’t want the season to end right now, we just want to keep going as far as we can and play our hardest.”