ROCKINGHAM — It is rare for coaches from Richmond Senior and Scotland to agree on much, but Shellie Wimpey and Molly Hayes did Thursday night.
The duo both said the team that claimed the third game was going to win the match.
After both teams split 10-plus points in the first two games, the third appeared to follow the same script as the Scots jumped out to a nine-point lead twice. The Raiders battled back to make it a nip-and-tuck contest.
Until Madelyn Chappell spiked down the game-winner to give Richmond the 30-28 win, it had blown three other opportunities to close out the game. In the previous attempts, the Raiders were called for a ball-handling error, had a hitting error and a serving error. The Scots had one chance, but were unable to post the victory when Hailey Mason recorded a kill.
The victory in the third game catapulted Richmond to a 25-11, 13-25, 30-28, 25-20 Southeastern Conference win. The victory allowed the Raiders to tie the Scots for second in the conference standings with 7-3 records. Richmond won the coin toss and will be the No. 2 seed in next week’s SEC tournament, receiving a first-round bye. Scotland is the No. 3 seed and will be at home Monday night against the No. 6 seed, Purnell Swett. The winner of the Purnell Swett-Scotland match will take on Richmond Tuesday.
“We had the momentum,” Wimpey said. “We came back from being down in the third game. We worked really hard on some things after the first time we played them. I think we played them much better this time.”
Hayes agreed with her counterpart: the team that was able to get the win to go up 2-1 in the match was more than likely going to win.
“The winner of the third game usually has the momentum going into the fourth,” Hayes said. “We missed some serves and missed some hits.”
Richmond (10-10) continued its good play in the fourth game, jumping out to a 5-0 lead and cruising to the 25-20 victory to set off a celebration by the players and coaches.
Mason finished with a game-high 14 kills for the Raiders. Altman Griffin and Chappell each had eight kills. Griffin also recorded 16 digs and Mason had 12. Mackenzie Webb notched 32 assists.
Kaitlin Lewis paced Scotland (12-8) with 12 kills. Nahir Pegues added 10 kills and three solo blocks. Kenleigh Callahan had 27 assists.
In the junior varsity match, Richmond downed Scotland in three games.
Scots send pair to regionals
LUMBERTON — Scotland’s Camryn Ellis and Anna Griswold qualified for the 4A East Region tournament thanks to their performance as a doubles tandem at the Southeastern Conference tennis championship in Lumberton this week.
The duo won two matches Tuesday to secure a berth at the regional tournament to be held in Wilmington Oct. 23 and 24 at the Althea Gibson Tennis Center. In their final doubles match Wednesday, Ellis and Griswold were defeated by Pinecrest’s Chappy and Claudio Ray 4-6, 5-7.
Scotland’s No. 1 doubles pair opened the tournament by defeating Hoke’s Taylor Jacobs and Alexis Osorio 6-2, 6-1. In the next match against Pinecrest, Ellis and Griswold bested Jada Harper and Emma Hollrah 6-0, 7-5.
Cheyanne Strong pushed for a regional bid in singles, but was ousted Wednesday in the consolation bracket. She defeated Hoke’s Monica Maynor 6-2, 6-0 in the first round Tuesday, then fell 0-6, 0-6 to Pinecrest’s Emma Gentry later in the afternoon.
On Wednesday, Strong was eliminated from the singles bracket by Pinecrest’s Kara Osterman 5-7, 2-6.
Scotland concluded the year as the No. 3 seed in the SEC, finishing with a 7-5 overall record and a 6-4 mark in the conference.
Reach Richmond County Daily Journal managing editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 and follow him on Twitter @scgolfer. Laurinburg Exchange sports editor Logan Martinez contributed to this story.