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

Chargers end historic season

111019-AG Volleyball
1 of 3

Ayden-Grifton is awarded 2A State Runner-Up after losing the championship match to Foard at Fayetteville State University on Saturday.

111019-AG Volleyball
111019-AG Volleyball
Loading…

By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Saturday, November 9, 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 senior outside hitter Emily Dykes said.

Dykes had a team-high eight kills on the night to go along with eight digs and two service points.

“I think they tried as hard as they could,” A-G head coach Linda Bryant said. “I’m extremely proud of the way my girls played. In the first set, I think there were some nerves, and in the second set we really struggled with our passing.”

Passing and movement were a point of emphasis for the Chargers heading into the game, a recipe that led the program to its first-ever state title appearance.

“I told the girls, ‘At the end of the day, win or lose, you made history,’” Bryant said. “Who knows how long it could be before Ayden-Grifton comes back to the state finals?’ This doesn’t just happen year after year. You have to have a very solid program in order to do that.”

The consistency over the years came primarily from three star seniors in Dykes, Aaleyah Garris and Bryant’s daughter, Alexia.

Garris had 11 digs, two service points, a kill and two blocks on the night. Alexia Bryant recorded nine digs and six kills.

“The journey (with these seniors) has been great,” Bryant said. “They came in as freshmen and I saw the potential in all three of them.”

Three other seniors, Mikayla Olejar, Ivy Hood and Caroline Congleton, will also depart the program following graduation.

The experience of coaching her daughter through the high school ranks is one Bryant said she is sure to remember.

“It’s been awesome,” she said. “We talked about this as she was getting ready to come up and I told her that I would be on her more because she is my daughter. She’s done a great job and I’m proud of her.”

Bryant originally inherited a program that struggled to put together winning seasons. In the end, however, she took the rural program and built it into a powerhouse not only in volleyball-rich Pitt County, but also in the state.

“I had a colleague ask me about how to do that (build a program),” Bryant said. “The key is to get your kids involved in club sports. If you can get them into the club sports, it will build them up to where they need to be. I know that Emily, Aaleyah and Alexia all played on club teams. It really helped build the foundations they needed.”

The state title appearance was the final game not only for the Chargers’ six seniors, but also for Bryant. She announced that she will not return to the helm of the Chargers squad next season.

“The girls knew, I had talked with them about that,” Bryant said. “I had also told the faculty and my assistants. I wanted to go out on a high note, and I think that was a good way to do that.”

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

From Today
Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

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…

101919_gdr_dhcfootball-4.jpg

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.

D.H.…

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…

100119_gdr_gcsoccer

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…

110719-Britton

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…

100419_gdr_roseconleyvolleyball8.jpg
137 stories in High Schools. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 14
        Next Page»   Last Page»

Most Popular Stories