By Jan Clark

It doesn't get much closer than this or more excruciating.

The Richmond girls volleyball team lost to Lincoln of Cambridge City at the Tiernan
Center Tuesday 17-25, 24-26, 24-26 while the junior varsity improved to 10-6 by
winning handily 25-9, 25-10.

Lincoln (15-5) came in with eight seniors on its roster and they were the keys to
the Eagles having now won eight of their last nine games. The Devils dropped to

Freshmen Laurelai DePew and Ashley Clark were Richmond's statistical leaders, DePew
with nine kills and Clark with 12 digs and her passing from the back row.

"I really want this team to win. I really want that. I can't stress that enough,"
said coach Matt Fisher.

"We need to do the little things. We need to stay together with each other. I think
for the most part we had a large group of girls who stayed in the fight all night.
Laurelai played great out of the middle (of the front row) and Ashley passed the
ball exceptionally well from the back row. In fact, most of our back row did a
really good job. Molly Morken did a good job setting the ball but we aren't doing
everything together right now. We have to come together at the hardest time of the
season and push to get a win."

Two major runs were the key for the Golden Eagles in set one. Lincoln got off to an
8-1 start then broke from an 11-11 tie to register seven points in an eight-point

Set two is when the real heartbreak set in.  Again, the Eagles jumped out to a 5-1
advantage but the Devils played strong volleyball from then on. Sparked by the net
play of DePew, RHS reeled off seven points in succession and 11 of 12 to take a 14-7

Justice Mays had three critical kills down the stretch as Richmond forged ahead
23-19. Just two points needed to even the match. The score was tied at 23 and 24 but
the Eagles got the last two, the Devils yielding seven of the last nine points.

Unfortunately for Richmond, set three was more of the same.

The two teams sparred by trading points back and forth until Richmond, down 22-15,
reeled off five straight on kills by DePew and Ella Wilson and the serving of Alison
Juday. Lincoln led 24-20 but the Red Devils, behind the serving of DePew, tied the
score 24-24. That brought the RHS crowd to its feel. Once again, however, the Eagles
tallied the last two points.

Richmond now looks to the North Central Conference Duals Saturday at the Tiernan
Center. The Devils will play Indy Tech and Marion starting at 10 a.m.

"Right now any game we play is a game for us to get better," Fisher said. "And
tonight I think we got better. We want to carry this over and we want our young
players to continue to play well and we want our seniors to continue to contribute.
This weekend we want to get some NCC wins but ultimately we want to keep building
and keep getting better.I thought we did that tonight despite the loss." .

Varsity stats: DePew 9 kills, 10 digs, 4 blocks; Clark 12 digs; Uhte 7 digs, 10
assists; Rogers 1 kill, 3 digs, 4 blocks; Wilson 1 kill, 3 digs, 2 blocks; Thompson
1 ace, 11 digs; Juday 1 ace; Woolridge 8 kills, 8 digs, 1 assist, 2 blocks; Mays 2
aces, 7 kills, 5 digs; Wright 6 kills, 3 digs, 3 blocks; Morken 10 digs, 15 assists.

JV stats: Harrison 2 digs; McKee 3 kills, 3 digs; James 1 kill, 1 dig; Bosell 3
digs, 1 assist; Lotz 2 kills; Hunter 3 digs; Saylor 2 kills, 7 digs; Wolfe 2 digs, 6
assists; Spicer 2 kills, 2 digs; Uhte 4 aces, 4 digs, 6 assists; Neeley 2 kills, 1