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Experience pushes Conley to sweep over Rose, 3-0

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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Experience proved valuable for the D.H. Conley volleyball team Tuesday night, as they swept crosstown rival, and 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference foe J.H. Rose in straight sets, 25-20, 25-22 and 25-12.

The win marked seven straight wins via sweep for DHC (7-0, 3-0) and ended a three-match win streak for the Rampants (5-3, 1-1).

Alexis Desoto and Maddy May each recorded 12 kills for the Vikings on the night, while Ella Philpot had three blocks. Olivia Hunt added four aces, while Olivia Lefever had 19 assists.

The Rampants were led by Grayson Norwood (2 aces, 3 blocks and 3 kills), who had a great night when serving the ball. CeCe Wilkerson had a strong defensive effort with four blocks.

The rivals went back and forth, trading blows in the first set, but a kill by Philpot off an assist by Lefever made the score 21-20, which continued into a six-point run to steal the set.

Student on both sides were in attendance to cheer on their teams, and the banter increased in yet another tight set in set two.

JHR jumped out to a 7-4 lead before the Vikings came storming back, eventually leveling the score at 10.DHC then began to take control, rattling off an eight-point run that pushed the score to 20-16. Rose came back with two three-point runs of their own, but Conley once again slipped away following an ace from May to seal the 2-0 set advantage.

The edge in experience gave Conley a boost in what became a dominant third set. The Vikings pushed the score out to 17-9 before cruising to take the final set and the match win.

Conley head coach Jennifer Gillikin knows just how intense the Vikings/Rampants rivalry can be, and she made sure to focus her squads energy on key areas she felt would earn DHC an advantage.

"We knew it was going to be a big match tonight," Gillikin said. "Anytime we play each other it's going to be a battle. Our focus tonight was really on serve receiving as well as blocking and I think our girls did a good job with that."

It was the third conference victory for Conley. Gillikin explained that she believed the key to DHC earning another conference title was all about effort.

"Our goal is to just go out there and play as hard as we can every day whether we're playing in practice or in a game" she said. "We have to always work on getting better and getting quicker and that's what we've been talking about since day one."

Krainiak admitted that her young squad needs to improve in keeping composure in tight situations.

"We have a very young team which does play a part in keeping composure in a highly competitive environment," she said. "We have to continue to work on our mental game and mental toughness and trusting each other in all parts of the game."

Despite the loss Krainiak continues to see improvement from her team.

"I think we are making strides in blocking and hustling," she said. "We also need to improve our mental focus and confidence, we will also really concentrate on serve receive and hitting consistency."

Conley will be back in action tonight as they travel to Wake Forest, while Rose will hit the court Thursday when they look to rebound at home against C.B. Aycock. The rivals meet again on Oct. 3 at Hollywood Crossroads.

John Paul II 3, Greenfield 0

JP2 (5-1, 1-0) picked up another win Tuesday night, defeating Greenfield in straight sets (25-17, 25-17 and 25-23).

Mary Grace Flowers (20 kills), Hailey Davenport (34 digs), Calie Phelps (23 assists) and Karsen Barfield all had strong nights for the Saints.

Greene Central 3, Beddingfield 1

GC (4-4, 0-1) picked up a non-conference victory Tuesday night to even its record. 

The Rams will play host to 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference foe South Lenoir Thursday night. 

BOYS SOCCER

Epiphany 7, Oakwood 3

Epiphany handed the Oakwood boys soccer team its second loss of the season Tuesday night. Oakwood's record moves to 3-2 on the season. They will play host to Keer-Vance Academy Friday as part of the schools Cancer Benefit night.

JV VOLLEYBALL

John Paul II 2, Greenfield 0

JP2's (2-2, 1-0) JV team also picked up a win Tuesday in straight sets (25-21, 25-22).

Annie Geiger (9 aces) and Hannah Smith (6 aces) had no problems picking up points off the serve.

JV BOYS SOCCER

Oakwood 2, Epiphany 0

Oakwood's JV squad moved to 2-1 on the year Tuesday. They will host Greenville Christian Academy on Thursday.

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High Schools

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