Richmond Academy rolls past Luella to reach Elite Eight

Richmond Academy isn’t done making program history.

 

The Lady Musketeers rolled to three hard-fought set wins to beat Luella 3-0 in the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs Tuesday night.

With each victory added to the season record, Richmond Academy makes more program history. After earning its second region championship ever, the team won its first playoff game, and is now playing in the Elite Eight for the first time.

“It’s just good because the girls get to experience it,” Richmond Academy coach Peaches Stephens said. “They will always know that they are a part of ARC history. They’ve done something special. For years to come, when they come back, they’ll know that.”

The next opponent and location is determined by seeding from the Georgia High School Association. Richmond Academy (14-4) will play Saturday with a chance to reach the semifinals.

After battling back and forth early in the first set to reach a tie at 10, Richmond Academy took over for an 18-13 lead, then finished strong to win 25-17, capping a 15-7 run.

The Lady Musketeers set the tone in the second set by starting on an 8-1 run and charging to a 17-8 advantage.

Luella (14-20) climbed back to get as close as one before Richmond Academy finished the set at 25-23.

Luella started the third set with a 9-5 lead before Richmond Academy evened things at 11 and 15. The Lady Musketeers took control from there to win 25-19 and clinch the match.

Stephens attributed the win to the same patience that got the team to the second round. Senior Lucy Simons served as a vocal leader on the court, while Alex Bagby was efficient with hitting and blocks, Ann Brennen Fisher was strong up the middle and Camille Leibach offered all-around production.

“They just played patient tonight,” Stephens said. “I could tell they wanted it. They were willing to sacrifice, diving, picked up a lot of balls normally you wouldn’t think they could get to. They played together and worked hard. It was a great thing to watch.”

Reach David Lee at (706) 823-3216 or david.lee@augustachronicle.com.

 

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