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Rival win keeps Conley undefeated

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D.H. Conley's Olivia Lefever eyes the ball on contact a sweep against South Central on Sept. 18, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)


By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

In a battle of undefeated volleyball teams, it was visiting D.H. Conley that walked away with a clean record after downing South Central on the road 3-0 on Tuesday night.

Conley notched three hectic wins, 25-12, 25-22 and 25-22.

An ace from Hannah Shafer put the Vikings (13-0, 5-0 Eastern Carolina 4-A/3-A) ahead 19-18 in the third set, stealing momentum from the Falcons (11-1, 3-1) and helping her team eventually expand its lead to 22-18. Alexis Desoto then delivered a powerful spike to take the air out of the building, giving DHC a 23-20 lead which led to the end of the match shortly thereafter. 

Amya Evans totaled six blocks on the night for the Falcons, many of which paired with Brylee Phillips, who totaled four blocks. 

For the Vikings, Olivia Hunt provided six aces, while Sara Dees and Maddy May added three kills apiece.

“They hung with us and it was a very competitive game,” Conley senior outside hitter Macy Smith said. 

With the win, DHC added another big notch in its conference play belt, also defeating rivals J.H. Rose and South Central on the road.

Vikings students made their voices heard in the enemy’s gym. They continually chanted and cheered, providing a very comfortable atmosphere for their team despite the hostile location. 

“(Having them there) makes the game so much more intense,” Smith said. “It keeps us focused and helps us not worry about what other fans may be saying to us. It helps a lot.”

Conley made a statement in the opening set, quickly jumping to a 4-1 lead. SC battled back to tie the game at 10 after an Ali Ruffin kill. From there on it was all Vikings. They created and grew their lead to 12, 22-10, after a block by Smith and Olivia Lefever. A ball hit out of bounds by SC’s Phillips sealed the set for the Vikings.

The Falcons were re-energized in the break and started set two on a 4-0 run, but a point by Shafer completed a quick rally to soon tie the score at 4-4. The two battled back and forth, giving fans a spectacular clinic in volleyball strategy and power hitting.

An ace from Phillips gave the Falcons their biggest lead of the set, five, and made the score 19-14. DHC hung close, once again rallying to tie the game at 20-all after a foul by SC. A kill from Smith proved valuable, giving DHC a 23-22 lead. The final point of the set by Desoto gave the Vikings a 2-0 match lead. 

South Central stays home for its next match, but the schedule gets no easier as the Falcons host another rival in J.H. Rose. SC defeated Rose 3-0 on the road on Aug. 28.

For the Vikings, their Thursday matchup with Eastern Wayne was postponed. No make-up date has been scheduled. They travel to Currituck County on Saturday.

Contact Jake Keator at jkeator@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.


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High Schools

October 20, 2018

South Central continued its undefeated football season with a decisive victory over New Bern on Friday night, 52-8.

In their first game in two weeks, the Falcons dominated with their multifaceted run game and took advantage of the Bears’ offensive mistakes.

After a sloppy but uneventful first…


October 20, 2018

Four Pitt County high school volleyball programs are ready to make some noise in postseason play. J.H. Rose, D.H. Conley, South Central and Ayden-Grifton all are eyeing a state title this year after terrific regular seasons.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association plans to reveal the…


October 19, 2018

D.H. Conley bested rival J.H. Rose on the gridiron for the second straight year Friday night, 48-21, increasing their win streak to six straight in the process.

“This is an awesome feeling,” Conley head coach Nate Conner said. “The most important thing is that it puts us in a…


October 19, 2018

It’s time for another installment of one of the best rivalries in the state as D.H. Conley (5-2, 3-0) travels just under seven miles down the road to face J.H. Rose (5-2, 2-1) tonight in high school football action.

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October 18, 2018

The Ayden-Grifton Chargers volleyball team celebrated senior night by defeating South Lenoir Wednesday to improve to 19-1 on the season.

The Chargers (11-0 in league play) won in straight sets, 25-13, 25-8 and 25-19.

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October 18, 2018

Zion Hardy, known by her teammates as “The Beast,” is one of three seniors on a Chargers volleyball roster that has only 10 players. Hardy spoke with preps Beat Writer Jake Keator after a 3-0 win on senior night about the Chargers season and winning back-to-back conference titles.



October 16, 2018

J.H. Rose put on a performance reminiscent of the beginning of its season with a 55-0 rout of Southern Wayne last Wednesday night. 

The game seemed to be a walk in the park for head coach Dave Wojtecki and Rose (5-2, 2-1), who held a comfortable 42-0 lead at halftime.

The Rampants switched up…


October 13, 2018

After winning yet another local volleyball showdown against fellow powerhouse South Central on Friday night, D.H. Conley coach Jennifer Gillikin perhaps best summed up her team’s season thus far when asked what she does to help her team avoid a letdown.

“What do you mean by a letdown?…


October 13, 2018

North Johnston kicker Graham Walston spoiled homecoming for the Farmville Central Jaguars on Friday night, kicking a 20-yard field goal as time expired to cap off a furious second half comeback. The Panthers walked away with a 31-29 victory. 

Tied at 29 late in the fourth quarter, FC (2-6, 1-…


October 12, 2018

The weather once again played a factor in the scheduling of high school football games in Pitt County this week. In preparation for the arrival of the remnants of Hurricane Michael, J.H. Rose and D.H. Conley both played road games on Wednesday and both teams walked away with wins.

The trip by Ayden-…

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