09/23/11 — Goldsboro keeps poise in league win

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Goldsboro keeps poise in league win

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 23, 2011 1:48 PM

Goldsboro kept its poise and put its new team motto "take care of our business" to good use Thursday evening.

Senior middle hitter Kasheika Wallace cranked out a team-best 10 kills and the Cougars used a decisive fourth-set serving run by Ana Harris to put away Spring Creek 27-25, 24-26, 25-21, 25-16 inside Norvell T. Lee Gymnasium.

The Cougars (5-8 overall) claimed their first Carolina 1-A Conference volleyball victory in four outings this season, and beat the Gators (1-8, 0-4 CC) for the second time in their last three meetings.

"I'm proud, very pleased with them," said Goldsboro head coach TJ Lancaster. "We've had a tough stretch (of losses) ... been reeling a little and have talked about being poised. We've talked about taking care of our business and that's what we're doing."

Goldsboro's calm demeanor surfaced in each set.

Spring Creek forged a 23-23 deadlock in the opening set on Olivia Martinez's kill off Sarah Ford's assist. After ties at 24-24 and 25-25, the Cougars clicked off two consecutive points on kills from Yusely Lares and Harris.

The Gators raced to a five-point lead in the second set, only to see the Cougars tie it at 23-23 on Brandy Johnson's kill off Harris' assist. Spring Creek pulled out the two-point win and evened the best-of-five match at 1-all.

The teams battled through five ties and six lead changes in the third set. Goldsboro pulled ahead for good on an unforced error and consecutive off-speed kills from Johnson. Yunely Lares' off-speed hit that dropped just inside the 3-meter line capped the Cougars' third-set surge.

Middle hitter Kelsey Rogers, who led all hitters with 18 kills, served three consecutive aces during an early fourth-set run. Kills from sisters Diana and Lolita Correna gave Spring Creek a 9-4 advantage.

Goldsboro answered.

Wallace's kill ignited a match-clinching 19-6 run. Dorian Wences fired off an ace, the Gators earned a sideout and the Cougars got the serve back on another Wallace kill.

Down 11-9, Harris toed the service line and Goldsboro went on a 12-0 run. Rogers tried to get Spring Creek back into the match, but the unforced errors proved too much to overcome.

"Inconsistency," said Gators head coach Deanna Morris. "Sometimes we're on and you can't ask for better passing and hitting, and then you get down a little, you can't shake it off. We have to learn how to do that.

"Goldsboro is coming along with their passing, setting and hitting ... really coming together as a team. I'm impressed with what they're doing."

Each team had 27 kills, but Goldsboro fashioned a .214 hitting percentage compared to Spring Creek's .115. Yusely Lares and Harris combined for 13 assists and 10 service aces for the Cougars.

Ford handed out 17 assists for the Gators.