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Vikings complete another sweep

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D.H. Conley players celebrate as they win their match against South Central on Oct. 12, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Nathan Summers
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, 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?” she said.

Her Vikings, ranked the top 3-A team in the state by MaxPreps.com, once again swept the crosstown rival and No. 6 Falcons, dealing them their second loss of the season.

“I think tonight’s win was a complete team effort,” Gillikin said. “I think we had kids step up and play really well and I think we were very focused coming into this match. We knew that first place was riding on this one and we didn’t want to tie it with them.”

Elana Fuller had nine kills to lead D.H. Conley, while Maddy May had seven and Macy Smith added six. Hannah Shafer had four blocks and Olivia Lefever 20 assists.

The Vikings (18-0, 9-0) are now comfortably in control in conference play after needing just the better part of an hour to win three straight games.

The Falcons got a double-double from Grace Sweers, who had 18 assists and 14 digs, and Paris Joyner added 11 digs. Also for SC, Ali Ruffin had seven kills and Kaci Turnage had six.

“South Central does a great job and they have excellent hitters,” Gillikin said. “Our focus was really to play strong defense and our back four did a really good job of getting their hard hits up (to be played by another player) and getting us in the system to hit it back at them.”

DHC did a great job of hitting it back at them, especially in the third game with the win in sight. The Falcons (16-2) pulled within four, 12-8, before Conley ran away to a 25-9 victory in front of a rowdy crowd.

Fuller’s emphatic kill made it 18-8, then another made it 20-8 and a third one that Fuller deftly touched over the net put her team on the precipice of victory at 24-9.

As for the letdown factor?

“We don’t talk about losing,” Gillikin said. “We talk about controlling every point at a time. We don’t talk about the match. We talk about one point at a time and trying to stay focused. We’ve been working on that since last spring.”

Contact Nathan Summers at nsummers@reflector.com, 252-329-9595 and follow @NateSumm99 on Twitter.

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High Schools

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