WINCHESTER, Ind. – Late runs in each of the first two games provided wins for Richmond.
Then the Red Devils took command for good.
The result was a 25-16, 25-18, 25-8 victory for Richmond over Winchester Wednesday at the Winchester Fieldhouse, the team’s first win of the new season. The retooling Lady Falcons fell to 0-2 in the first week of the new season, both home floor losses versus good competition.
Winchester fell to Class A, state-ranked Cowan this past Monday night, while the Red Devils dropped a close home match to Pendleton Heights the same night.
Contributions come from all 13 Richmond players in uniform for Wednesday’s night’s match, but senior Shelby Miller was key at the net in a 13-point serving avalanche of points for sophomore Kelsey Luce early in the third game.
A sideout broke a tie at one each, but by the time the Falcons stopped the run, it was 15-2, and only the final margin was to be determined.
Miller commented on the key to fighting off a young, but determined Winchester squad.
“We really just focused on holding our composure, because they are a really scrappy team, they got a lot of balls up, a lot of balls back, so any ball that came over the net, we had to be ready,” she said.
Luce had a big night on the service line.
“I was just trying to get my serve in, to get into the point, my sets and serves needed to be in play so we could score,” Luce said.
And score the Red Devils did when Luce put the serves in play. Richmond scored the last six points of game one when Luce was serving, then there were the 13 points in a row in the clinching game three.
In the second game, Paityn Farris, Kaesha Bentley and Deziree Alexander had streaks of points while serving, and it was a positive night for 1-1 RHS.
“Our play was good tonight, the spirit on the bench and the whole team was really good,” RHS coach Matt Fisher said. “I am really happy with everyone on the team, everyone contributed, I just hope that enthusiasm and spirit continues, especially at 9 a.m. Saturday in the invitational.”
The Red Devils have a challenging Saturday, with morning matches versus Northview and Perry Meridian in the Kokomo Invitational, which also includes Class 4A top-ranked Avon.
For coach Julie Smiley and Winchester, it was a night of improved play.
“I was happy with my kids’ tenacity, particularly in the second game, that’s what we ask them to do, compete,” Smiley said of her very young charges. Winchester has just one senior, and she has limited varsity experience, and no player stands over 5-8.
RHS dominated at the net all night, as Miller recorded 11 kills and Farris added seven. Both Lexus Perkins and Alexander recorded five kills. Luce had 20 assists, with four ace serves. For the Falcons, Kirklyn Keener, Leah Malkey and Randi Phenis each had three kills, with freshman setter Morgan Friend adding three assists and seven digs. Emily White led the home team with nine digs and Rachel Brumfield added five.
Richmond’s junior varsity team moved to 2-0 by winning 25-12, 25-14.
Winchester is back in action Thursday night at Randolph Southern, then competes Saturday at the Union Invitational.