Volleyball Captures Conference Crown

By: Dustin Williams

The West Johnston Wildcats entered Trojan Coliseum on a nice run through the Greater Neuse River conference tournament and was ready for another intense match-up with the defending conference champions, Garner Trojans (21-3). The Trojans trailed early in the first set 8-5 but Kelsey Bryan had a nice kill to tie it up at nine. Ka'asha Jefferies and Bryan made some nice digs and gave the Trojans the lead midway through the set at 12-11. The defense was just outstanding and nice blocks at the net by Trojans Captain Kristen Powell and Jefferies helped finish off the Wildcats 25-19 in the first set.

In the second set, West Johnston started strong with a nice kill by Halle Eicher to tie the second set at six. Then the Trojans battle back as Sarah Pierce and Bryan make strong kills to give Garner the 12-8 advantage. Powell dominated in the second set with several nice kills and blocks to give the Trojans the win at 25-13 in the second set.

Up by two sets, Powell started strong giving the Trojans the early lead at 3-2, but Eboni Robinson from West Johnston has a nice dig and kill to even the third set at seven. Megan Gibbons has a strong kill and helps keep West Johnston tied up at 13. Courtney Weathersbee then took over with four aces and amazing hustle and dig by Maddy Stewart to extend the lead to 23-18. Jefferies followed with an ace on the next play, and Bryan provided the final kill as it deflects off the Wildcats defender for the win at 25-20 and championship.

Garner records their 51st straight conference win and won all 51 sets they played inside the conference this season. 

Head Coach Jason Boyette said "the defense was just great, and we had a good finish here tonight. I was impressed with Courtney serving and helped put us in a good position to win!" Weathersbee finished with eight service aces and while Powell finished the game with 15 of the teams 31 kills.

Garner will return to action on Saturday afternoon when they host Laney in the opening round of the state playoffs. First serve from Trojan Coliseum is slated for 1:00 p.m.

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