BYH: It Christmas time again. This is the season when all those who beg for free toys for their children come out. What...

Future bright for Vikings volleyball


D.H. Conley's Maddy May prepares to defend her team agaist J.H. Rose players during Thurday's match.


By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Entering Tuesday nights road contest with Chapel Hill the D.H. Conley volleyball team knew it had one main objective, slow down Tigers 6-4 outside hitter Kayla Merkler. Chapel Hill rallied from a 2-0 deficit to overcome the defending east champs, downing Conley 3-2.

"We knew coming into the Chapel Hill match we had to have blockers," DHC head coach Jennifer Gillikin said. "Our girls really stepped up. We had girls that are 5-7 blocking the 6-3, 6-4 giant over there."

Merkler entered the 3-A East Regional final with a team high 377 kills on the season, making her to focal point for the Conley defense.

If DHC recognized Merkler had the chance for a kill it was up to Vikings players such as Sara Dees, Maddy May and Alexis Desoto to time their jumps correctly to earn the block.

"Our front row players went up hard for every single block, we had a ton of blocks tonight," Gillikin said. "Our back row passers were scrambling to get those balls and get them up. I'm very pleased with our effort."

Those back row players, like Caroline Dobson, Savanna Hardee and Olivia Hunt, continually found themselves in the line of fire, but were unintimidated by the speed of Merkler's kills.

The loss was final game for five Conley seniors, Maura Wynn, Savanna Hardee, Desoto, Bailey Everett and Hunt.

"Those girls are my family," Gillikin said. "They've become a part of me and a part of my family. I couldn't be more proud of everything they've accomplished."

While the production of regular starters like Desoto and Hunt will be missed, the Vikings wil return the vast majority of their roster, including standout freshman outside hitter Kylah Silver. Silver recorded nine blocks and seven kills in the regional final.

It's been no secret that DHC has prided itself on the talent of its outside players, and Silver looks to be the next one to continue that tradition. Also returning will be setter Olivia Lefever, who also had a strong season overall, add in other names such as Dees, May and Ella Philpot, and Conley looks loaded to make another run next season.

"We have a strong Conley tradition," Gilikin said. "We've been rolling for several years now and that's our expectation. We'll get working soon and be back and ready for the 2020 season."

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

From Today

Humans of Greenville


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

High Schools

November 12, 2019

Frida night's games were the end of the line for three area teams, North Pitt, Farmville Central and Greene Central. For the remaining teams, Ayden-Grifton, J.H. Rose, D.H. Conley and South Central, there is still work to be done in the state playoffs. See who stood out in the final week of the…

111219-AG Football

November 09, 2019

After suffering a one-point loss at home last year to South Central on senior night, D.H. Conley returned the favor Friday night, blasting the Falcons 41-6 at South Central High School for its eighth straight victory and securing the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference title.

The 38-degree air…


November 09, 2019

FAYETTEVILLE — It was a rough ending to what had been a historic season for the Ayden-Grifton volleyball team Saturday night, as the Chargers fell to West region champion Foard, 3-0 (25-15, 25-12 and 25-10).

“We just weren’t there tonight. It wasn’t our game,” Chargers…

111019-AG Volleyball

November 09, 2019

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association released its finalized brackets for its postseason football playoffs Saturday afternoon. Four teams, Ayden-Grifton, South Central, J.H. Rose and D.H. Conley will all begin preparations for their first round games Friday. Meanwhile North Pitt,…

110919-AG FB

November 09, 2019

It wasn't perfect, but another strong night of defense and a heavy ground attack propelled Ayden-Grifton to a senior night win over rival Kinston Friday night, 27-14.

While also sending out the Chargers (8-2, 4-2) seniors on a high note the game was revenge against the Vikings, who eliminated A-G…

110919-Michael Webb

November 08, 2019

After long season area football teams have finally reached the end of the regular season. For some teams it mark the end of the road for the 2019 season, for others, this last week provides one more tune up ahead of the playoffs. Check out the final matchups of the regular season tonight.


110219-JHR FB

November 07, 2019

It was a tale of two halves for the Greene Central Rams soccer team on Wednesday night, giving up three second half goals in its 4-2 first-round playoff loss to Croatan.

The Rams, a 16 seed, suffered just the fourth loss of the season and are eliminated from the playoffs with an 18-4 record while…


November 07, 2019

As a young boy, D.H. Conley goalkeeper Britton Beavers learned the ins and outs of playing the position. On Wednesday night, he put all of those skills to use, helping to earn the win for the Vikings in penalty kicks. Preps beat writer Jake Keator spoke with Beavers about his season.

Q: How did you…


November 07, 2019

Wednesday night’s first-round state soccer playoff matchup between 24th-seeded D.H. Conley and ninth-seeded rival J.H. Rose was nothing short of a classic.

After a physical game that included yellow cards, nifty moves and plenty of shots, the Rampants and Vikings found themselves scoreless,…

110719-JHR soccer

November 07, 2019

Entering Tuesday nights road contest with Chapel Hill the D.H. Conley volleyball team knew it had one main objective, slow down Tigers 6-4 outside hitter Kayla Merkler. Chapel Hill rallied from a 2-0 deficit to overcome the defending east champs, downing Conley 3-2.

"We knew coming into the Chapel…

137 stories in High Schools. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 14
        Next Page»   Last Page»

Most Popular Stories