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Experience pushes Conley to sweep over Rose, 3-0


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. 


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.


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.


Oakwood 2, Epiphany 0

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


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

High Schools

October 15, 2019

The Farmville Central volleyball team walked away celebrating a win and its seniors on senior night Tuesday after the Jaguars defeated Beddingfield 3-1 (24-26, 25-19, 25-14 and 25-19.

The night began with FC (12-7, 6-3) recognizing its four seniors, Abby Foster, Ja'Shyra Carmon, Keyley Shackleford…


October 15, 2019

Week 8 of the high school football season provided clarity in two local conferences as teams enter the meat of their conference schedules. D.H. Conley walked away with an overtime win over rival J.H. Rose, while Ayden-Grifton stumbled again against 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference leader Washington.…


October 12, 2019

After a lackluster first half, the Greene Central Rams scored four second-half touchdowns to beat South Lenoir 59-26 on homecoming night on Friday at Greene Central High School.

The Rams improve to 4-3 overall and 1-1 in the 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference, while the Blue Devils fall to 2-5 and 0-3…


October 12, 2019

After a 4-0 start, the last two weeks have not been ideal for Ayden-Grifton football.

The Chargers were doomed by five turnovers in a 37-12 loss to Washington on Friday. The Chargers (4-2, 0-2) were coming off of a 34-21 home loss to West Craven last week.

Paul Cornwell’s team has dealt with…


October 11, 2019

D.H. Conley and J.H. Rose found themselves tied at 28 following the end of regulation Friday night at Hollywood Crossroads, leading the two bitter rivals to sort it out in overtime.

The Vikings used four plays, capped off by an 8-yard pass from quarterback Nick Hamilton to Chance Brown to take the…


October 11, 2019

A longstanding rivalry between two major Pitt County squads provides major excitement this week in local high school football, as J.H. Rose and D.H. Conley meet once again for bragging rights. Check out that and other games for area teams in this weeks breakdown.

Ayden-Grifton (4-1, 0-1) at…


October 11, 2019

Ayden-Grifton clinched at least a share of it's third-straight 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference title Thursday night after defeating South Lenoir, 14-25, 25-8, 25-17 and 25-14.

It was also the third conference championship for head coach Linda Bryant, who revealed that 2019 may be her final season…


October 10, 2019

A late penalty called on D.H. Conley goalkeeper Conor Montanye proved to be the edge J.H. Rose needed in its 1-0 soccer victory over the Vikings on Thursday night, an outcome strangely similar to the rival high schools’ first meeting earlier in the season.

After a scoreless first half, J.H.…

October 09, 2019

The South Central continued its dominance of the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference Tuesday night after defeating Southern Wayne, 25-7, 27-9 and 25-11.

Alleigh Johnson (7 service points, 2 aces, 2 blocks, 1 kill), Alli Ruffin (7 assists, 3 kills) and Grace Sweers (9 assists, 3 kills, 1 service…


October 09, 2019

There was plenty of pink on display Tuesday afternoon at J.H. Rose, as the girls tennis team hosted its annual Ball Drop event, raising over $2,500.

The 50/50 raffle raised money for Strides Against Breast Cancer of the American Cancer Society and the Liz Upton Student Scholarship Fund.

On hand was…

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