ROCKINGHAM — After splitting six singles and two doubles matches, the competition between Richmond Senior and South View came down to the No. 2 doubles contest.
South View’s Angie Gutierrez and Mariah Wharton led Haleigh Denham and Summer Jacobs 7-6, with Gutierrez serving to clinch the win.
Leading 40-30, Gutierrez’s final serve of the match handcuffed Denham, who sent her return beyond the baseline to give South View an 8-6 victory in the contest and a 5-4 nonconference win over Richmond Wednesday afternoon.
“We have to try to stay focused until the end of the match,” Richmond coach Paula York said. “We just came up short on that last doubles match. We had a great chance to win and we let it slip away.”
Caroline Kirkland, Peyton Hunt and Jacobs were all victorious for the Raiders in singles. Kirkland defeated Annette Garza 10-1 in the top singles contest, while Jacobs stopped Shama Kalbfleisch 10-7 at No. 4 and Hunt knocked off Page Pryor 10-2 in the fifth singles match.
Wharton and Gutierrez also won their singles contests as well for South View. At No. 2, Wharton downed Katy Shelley 10-6, while Gutierrez beat Denham by the same score in the third match. Summer Dickerson blanked Richmond’s Meredith McLean 10-0 in the last contest.
Kirkland and Shelley combined to shutout Garza and Kalbfleisch 8-0 in the No. 1 doubles match, while Pryor and Dickerson turned the tables on Hunt and McLean 8-0.
Richmond played for the third straight contest without one of its top players. Abbi Carpenter sat out the match because of an injury.
“Having to pull everyone up a spot puts added pressure on the kids,” York said. “Some of them are anxious enough at their regular spot and then to change positions, it can really put added pressure on them.”
The loss was the sixth straight for the Raiders and drops them to 1-7 on the season. Richmond was scheduled to play Southeastern Conference foe Hoke County at today in Raeford, but the contest has been moved to 4 p.m. Wednesday. The Raiders’ next match will be 4 p.m. Tuesday when they play host to Purnell Swett.
Pirates hand Raiders first loss of the year
LUMBERTON — Lumberton scored the game’s final three goals to pull away for a 5-1 Southeastern Conference victory over Richmond Senior Wednesday night.
The loss was the first on the season for the Raiders, who are now 7-1-2 overall and 1-1-1 in the SEC.
“Lumberton took it to us in every aspect tonight,” Richmond coach Bennie Howard said. “They beat us to the ball and they out-hustled us. It was an eye-opening experience for us.”
Lumberton (5-5, 2-1) led 2-0 at halftime. Armando Garcia scored for the Raiders to trim the deficit to one before the Pirates responded with their three-goal onslaught.
“We didn’t play like we needed to,” Howard said. “We played as individuals. Two of their goals were a direct result of us being individualistic. Hopefully this will show the team if you don’t play team ball, you will get an ‘L’ handed to you.”
Richmond will return to action at 7 p.m. Monday at Raider Stadium against perennial SEC powerhouse Pinecrest.
In the junior varsity game, Lumberton claimed a 4-1 win. Alex Lopez scored Richmond’s lone goal in the contest. The Raiders fall to 5-1 on the year and 1-1 in SEC games.
Richmond boys, girls finish second
LUMBERTON — The Richmond Senior boys and girls cross country teams took second in a three-school Southeastern Conference meet Wednesday afternoon at Luther Britt Park.
In the boys meet, Pinecrest finished first with a score of 15, followed by Richmond with 55 and Purnell Swett at 71. Brandon Gibson was the top finisher for the Raiders, coming in eighth with a time of 17:40. Randy Altman finished 16th at 18:58 and Maurice Oneal came in 25th, clocking in a 20:24.
Pinecrest also claimed the girls meet with a score of 15. Richmond was second at 60, while Purnell Swett had 100 points. Ana Rivers finished 13th for the Raiders in a time of 24:46. Belle Hillenburg was 19th, finishing the course in a time of 26:32. Cassie Smith came in 20th, 20 seconds behind Hillenburg.
“It was a pretty good day, the kids ran well,” Richmond coach Reggie Miller said. “Everyone finished the race and stayed competitive. We are a young team so there’s still room for improvement.”
The squads next meet is scheduled for 5 p.m. Tuesday at Luther Britt Park against Lumberton and Pinecrest.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org