R-H volleyball claims No. 5 seed

Published 4:15 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2016

By Scott Critzer

Special to the Gazette

The Randolph-Henry High School varsity girls volleyball team closed out the regular season last week by splitting a pair of James River District contests.

On Oct. 25, the Lady Statesmen hosted Buckingham County High School in a Senior Night rematch of their five-game showdown in Buckingham a month ago. After the senior recognitions, the Lady Statesmen took control of the match early with a 25-21 win in the first game. The Lady Knights answered in the second, tying the match 1-1 with a 25-23 win.

But Randolph-Henry would not be denied. The team battled back from a 14-7 deficit to take the third game 25-22. In the fourth game, the Lady Statesmen fought their way out of an eight-point hole before a Kimmi Horsfall ace closed out the game and the match with a 26-24 victory.

“It was a great way to send the seniors out,” Randolph-Henry Head Coach Scott “Shep” Critzer said. “We made some great plays down the stretch and found our focus and discipline when we needed it. We were very proud of the way the girls worked their way out of those holes and were able to close things out.”

The Lady Statesmen attack was led by 11 kills from Jakya Pettus and four aces from Kimmi Horsfall, while Anna Pascuita led the defensive effort with six digs.

On Thursday, the team traveled to Nottoway High School with hopes of avenging an early-season loss to the Lady Cougars. It was not to be, though.

Paced by three kills each from Kierra Jones and Annie Sandridge, Randolph-Henry kept things close in the first game before Nottoway went on a 4-point run to open a lead and take the game 25-20. That was as close as the Lady Statesmen would come as Nottoway cruised to 25-12 and 25-17 wins in the next two games to close out the match.

With the loss, Randolph-Henry finished the regular season 12-8 overall and 8-8 in the district.

“We did some good things in the match, but you have to give Nottoway a lot of credit,” Critzer said.

The No. 5-seeded Lady Statesmen began Quad Rivers Conference 34 tournament play on Tuesday evening against No. 4-seeded Nottoway. With a win, Randolph-Henry would play in the semifinal round Thursday, either at Goochland High School or at home. The championship match is set for Saturday and the higher seed will host.