Reveal takes over Hurricane volleyball program

After year away, Reveal returns to coaching at WHS

By Mark Huber - [email protected]

Stephanie Reveal

Stephanie Reveal

Submitted Photo

Despite stepping down as the Clinton-Massie volleyball coach this past spring, Stephanie Reveal always figured she return to the sideline as a high school volleyball coach.

But this was even sooner than she thought.

Reveal, secretary in the Wilmington High School athletic department, will be the next WHS varsity volleyball coach, pending the approval of the Wilmington City Schools Board of Education at a meeting in May.

”I always knew I would come back to coach, it’s something I love and enjoy,” said Reveal, a 1993 graduate of CMHS and varsity volleyball coach from 2006 to 2021. “I just didn’t realize it would be quite this quick.”

Reveal stepped down at Massie to be able to watch her daughter Cadin play volleyball at Wilmington College. A year away as a high school coach, though, gave Reveal the perspective she needed.

“I was able to look at Cadin’s schedule and compare it to the high school schedule and see what conflicts there would be,” Reveal said. “I let Troy (Diels, WHS athletic director) know when he approached me about a couple conflicts that worried me and if we could move a few things around. I felt confident that I could make this work.”

Reveal will take over at Wilmington following the resignation of Jenna Persinger. The one-time dominant program under head coach Gary Downing, WHS volleyball had fallen on hard times and struggled to produce a winner in recent years. In fact, in 2016 and 2017, Wilmington did not win a match.

Until Persinger took over. In her four seasons at WHS, Persinger grew the program from seven wins in 2018 to 14 wins in 2021.

“Jenna came in and took over a program that was at a low point,” said Reveal. “She started rebuilding the program that had been missing since the Gary Downing era and what an era that was. She started to bring the culture back that was needed for them to believe in themselves and the confidence to start winning again.”

So Reveal hopes to return a program on the upswing to heights it hasn’t seen in years.

”They are a great group of ladies, they are resilient, and the desire is there to become better all-around players, they want to be pushed and that is what I plan on doing with them,” said Reveal.

Her plan is simple, but it won’t always be easy.

”I know from experience you only get better by stepping up the competition,” she said. “Will you always win? No, not always and that’s OK because in every loss you gain knowledge and find your weaknesses and areas you need to improve on. To be competitive at the Division I level and get a couple tournament wins we will need to play a much faster tempo, and look to toughen up our regular season schedule.”

Because it’s volleyball, though, the challenge is one Reveal embraces with open arms, even though at some point she’ll be coaching against her alma mater.

“I love the game, the competition and coaching,” Reveal said. “I don’t see it being much different than when I coached at Massie and was working here (at WHS). I am still going to applaud those great plays when they happen regardless of who the opponent may be, that’s just the coach in me.

“I’ve always told my players, I just inherited 10-12 extra kids that are now ‘my kids’ for life. That will never change regardless of the name on the jersey. I want them to know that they can always come to me and I will be there for them, not only in volleyball but everyday life. But don’t get me wrong, the competitor in me will always come out and I will push them to the limit. I do not like to lose.”

Stephanie Reveal Reveal Submitted Photo
After year away, Reveal returns to coaching at WHS

By Mark Huber

[email protected]