Richmond volleyball players celebrate a point during a volleyball match against Greenfield-Central in the Tiernan Center, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014.
First, it was senior Chloe Bennett for Richmond.
Then classmate Shelby Miller recorded multiple points at the service line for the Red Devil volleyball team.
But even though Bennett and Miller, the team’s two seniors, recorded runs of points for RHS in the third game Wednesday night, and the Devils won that game, Richmond fell to Greenfield-Central three games to one in Richmond’s Tiernan Center.
The result added to the struggling team’s current losing streak and left the Devils winless at home and with only two wins in a busy first two weeks of the season.
It was Greenfield’s first win of the year.
The winning scores for the visiting Cougars were 25-20, 25-14, 25-27, 25-15, and RHS head coach Matt Fisher stated his feeling about his charges right after the match.
“I thought we struggled for the first time all year on the block. I thought they beat us at the net,” Fisher said.
Miller led the team with 16 kills, while Paityn Farris added 10.
A close first part of the opening game exploded late with five straight service points from Greenfield’s Courtney Marchello. Those five points were the winning margin for the Cougars.
In the second game, a narrow, 16-13 Greenfield lead was followed by a 9-1 run for the Cougars to win 25-14 and go up two games to none.
Then came the Red Devil heroics as Bennett helped serve RHS into the lead early, then four points in a row on the Miller service moved the hosts ahead 16-12.
In the late going, both team had game points and failed to convert, but two more service points from Miller with the score knotted at 25 gave RHS the third game.
But the momentum quickly evaporated for the home team as Greenfield recorded the first seven points of the fourth game and never looked back.
“We lost our composure at the beginning of the match, no doubt about it,” Fisher continued. “We have to stay composed, and at the end of the day, we have to enjoy playing together. I thought we showed that in the third game, and when we did that, we won.
“Until we are able to play that way and carry it on through the match, we are not going to be the team we can be. When bad plays happen, we have to put that behind us and not let it carry on the next play. We have to be able to stop that.”
For the match, Miller had five ace serves and 11 digs. RHS freshman Becca Johnston led the team with 14 digs. Sophomore Kelsey Luce had a team-high 33 assists.
Things get no easier for the Red Devils this Saturday as Richmond competes in the Avon Invitational. The host school was the state’s top-ranked Class 4A school in one preseason poll.
Then the Red Devils return home for three straight home matches versus area foes. Northeastern visits the Tiernan Center on Tuesday, while state-ranked Union County visits Sept. 4 and Eaton, Ohio, comes calling Sept. 11.
Richmond’s junior varsity team did have a successful night Wednesday, winning in two straight games 25-18, 25-12.