ROCKINGHAM — First-year Richmond Senior volleyball coach Shellie Wimpey wants to build her program into a consistent winner, just like her team’s opponent Thursday night.
Wimpey and the Raiders saw how far they still have to go to contend with their neighbors to the east — Scotland.
The Fighting Scots, which have captured seven straight conference regular season titles, rolled to a 25-15, 25-17, 25-18 victory over the Raiders behind the hitting of Libby Ingram and the serving of Caroline Pridgen. Ingram had a game-high 11 kills, while Pridgen added a game-high five aces.
“We still have a lot of improvement to make,” Wimpey said. “We keep making small mistakes that hurt us, but that’s not surprising because we are a young team.”
The loss was the fourth in a row for Richmond, which falls to 8-7 overall and 1-4 in the Southeastern Conference. Scotland improves to 13-0 overall and 5-0 league play.
Scotland coach David Barnes missed his third straight conference match after having surgery last weekend. Interim coach Molly Hayes said the team will continue to focus on the things Barnes has been targeting all year. Hayes added there is no timetable for Barnes’ return to the bench.
“We want to have smart shots, have aggressive serving, have good ball control and make smart decisions,” Hayes said. “We work on those themes everyday in practice.”
During Thursday’s win, Hayes added she made an effort to call set pieces for more players in the offense.
“We wanted to get some people who don’t get a chance to hit the ball,” she said. “And we wanted to play some people who don’t get the chance as well.
“We are looking towards a conference championship and the state playoffs. We need to sharpen our passing because tonight some of our passes weren’t where they needed to be.”
The top four teams in the SEC automatically qualify for the postseason. Unlike Scotland which has all but clinched in its spot in the playoffs, Richmond has some work to do. The Raiders are currently fifth in the SEC.
Wimpey said, “We will practice hard and hope the second time around the league is different than the first.”
Richmond was slated to travel to Anson Wednesday, but the game was canceled because of scheduling conflicts. The Raiders will now return to action 6 p.m. Thursday when they battle SEC foe Hoke in Raeford. Richmond captured the first match between the two schools 3-1.
Rockingham downs Anson-Orange
ROCKINGHAM — The Rockingham Middle School volleyball swept Anson-Orange Monday afternoon.
The Rockets won the opening match 25-17, 23-25, 19-17 and cruised in the second match 25-14, 25-18.
Top servers for the Rockingham were: Cher Morse with 34 points, Nichole Beggs with 28, Ally Roberts with 21 and Nalee Jacobs and Alyson Taylor with 13 points each.
The Rockets will travel to face Ellerbe at 4 p.m. Monday.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com