The Lady Raiders will play host to New Bern in the second round at either 6 or 7 p.m. Tuesday. New Bern, the No. 4 seed out of the Mideastern Conference, swept Harnett Central, the No. 1 seed from the Greater Neuse River Conference.
As typical for Richmond this season, the team got off to a rocky start. The Lady Raiders (15-6) trailed 13-6 in the opening game after a kill by Annie Copenhaver. Richmond battled back to tie the game at 18 behind the serving of Brittani Hodges and the hitting of Natalie Brown. Hodges registered three aces during a 12-5 run, while Natalie Brown had two kills.
The teams exchanged sideouts for the next six points, until kills by Rebecca Kinsey and Hodges put Richmond ahead 23-21. However, the Lady Bulldogs (11-10) tried to respond. Callie Brown's kill cut the deficit to 23-22, but I'teionna McLaughlin and LaShey Brown combined to block Copenhaver's kill attempt to give the Lady Raiders a game point. Terry Sanford stayed alive temporarily after Caroline Wheeler and Meghan Gordy blocked Hodges' kill attempt to close out the game. But LaShey Brown's kill on the next point, gave the Lady Raiders the victory in game one.
"I called a timeout and I told the team that they needed to settle down," Raiders coach Wendy Wallace said. "We were hitting some balls out and we getting block on some others."
Natalie Brown led the way for the Lady Raiders in game one with six kills.
Richmond stormed out of the gates in the second game and led 10-3 after a Hodges’ kill. The Lady Bulldogs trimmed the advantage to 11-7 when Callie Brown and Wheeler combined to block Hodges. Richmond roared back to build its lead to 10 at 20-10 as LaShey Brown had two kills and teamed with Alex Gardner to block a Gordy kill attempt. Hodges closed out the 25-17 win with a kill.
The third game proved to be a nip-and-tuck battle between the two teams. Terry Sanford led just twice in the game and the Lady Raiders largest lead was three points in the game. With the teams tied at 25, LaShey Brown had a kill putting the Lady Raiders ahead 26-25 and Rebecca Kinsey blocked a kill attempt by Gordy to close out the game and the match.
"Terry Sanford really hustled and they played well in the middle," Wallace said. "I think LaShey and Rebecca played well against their middles."
In other state playoff games involving schools from the Southeastern Conference, the top seed from the SEC, Scotland swept Seventy-First and will face Ashley from the Mideastern, Green Hope swept Purnell Swett and CE Jordan defeated Pinecrest in four games.