Volleyball adds five in 2019-20 class

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, July 24, 2019



MILLIGAN COLLEGE – Coming off a trip to the NAIA Women’s Volleyball National Championship and victory in the opening round, Milligan College’s volleyball team has reloaded with five newcomers in the 2019-20 signing class. Head Coach Doneva Bays announced the addition of these five new players Tuesday.

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“I am super excited about the incoming class and the added depth they will give to a great foundation of returners,” Bays said. “Coming off a great year and only losing Alyssa Rupert from our court gives us great hope for this season.”

Rupert, the Appalachian Athletic Conference libero of the year, was the lone senior on last year’s team, and while she will be difficult to replace, Bays noted the team will be much deeper than it was in 2018.

For the complete list of newcomers, please see below.

Carley Gregory

Height: 5’11

Position: Outside Hitter

Previous School: Eastern Florida State College

Hometown: West Palm Beach, FL

Intended Major: Nursing

Carley Gregory is transferring from Eastern Florida State College where she played two seasons and received her associate degree. Gregory currently lives in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she attended Lake Worth Christian School and was named to the Palm Beach Post first team, all-conference second team and all-county during her career. Gregory also was a captain of her high school program and played for Palm Beach Juniors.

Sarah Grace Larkey

Height: 5’9

Position: Outside Hitter

Previous School: Unicoi County High School

Hometown: Unicoi, TN

Intended Major: Nursing

Larkey played club volleyball for Tri- Cities Extreme Volleyball Club and has also played KVC. She was all-conference as well as honorable mention her junior year at Unicoi High School, and she earned honors as UCHS Offensive Player of the Year.

Paxton Adkins

Height: 5’6

Position: Defensive Specialist

Previous School: Sullivan East High School

Hometown: Bristol, TN

Intended Major: Pre-Med

Adkins played the last four years of club volleyball for Tri-Cities Extreme.

Lauren Petty

Height: 5’8

Position: Setter

Previous School: Trinity Christian Academy

Hometown: Jackson, TN

Petty attended Trinity Christian Academy where she was all-district all four years as well as all-west Tennessee. She was District Co-Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018, and she earned a medal of distinction from Trinity Academy. Petty was awarded junior Rotarian of the year and played for West Tennessee Elite Volleyball Club.

Ashleyn Vandergriff

Height: 5’9

Position: Setter

Previous School: Heritage High School

Hometown: Seymour, TN

Intended Major: Pre-Med

Vandergriff attended Heritage High School where she was a three-year starter. Vandergriff finished her Lady Mountaineer career with the fifth highest total of digs and assists, the third highest number of kills and the No. 2 mark in points served. She finished with 1,223 assists. Vandergriff was an all-district 3-AAA player in the regular season and tournament play but was quick to point out that her bigger honor was being a member of the first Heritage volleyball squad to compete at the state tournament.

Milligan volleyball also added Sydney Hurd. Hurd played two seasons at Walters State Community College after finishing her high school career from Sullivan Central High school. Hurd will assist with practice sessions and team stats during the upcoming season.

Last season, the Buffs went 26-9 overall, 16-3 in the AAC, and advanced to the final of the postseason tournament. In addition to Rupert’s nod as the AAC libero of the year, three Buffs earned All-AAC distinction. Setter Kellee Geren and middle blocker Julie Dockery were All-AAC first team while outside hitter Elise Gregory was All-AAC second team and all-freshman.