Aycock uses familiar script, but changes roles
By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on October 27, 2004 1:56 PM
WILSON -- Charles B. Aycock's volleyball team's last visit in 2001 to Wilson Beddingfield in the Class 3-A N.C. High School High School Athletic Association playoffs began somewhat similar to Tuesday's match at the Bruins' gym -- an opening-set win by the home team.
Eventually, the Golden Falcons rallied to win the first-round game and advanced all the way to the eastern semifinals before falling to Erwin Triton.
This time, Beddingfield advanced -- topping an experienced Aycock team and defending its home floor with a 25-16, 19-25, 25-12, 25-13 win.
The match-up was a clash between a pair of future Eastern Carolina Conference foes when the new realignment begins in 2005. Aycock coach Davis Harris knows this is just the beginning of rekindling a rivalry between two former Big Eight Conference members.
"We had heated battles when Debra (Pegram) was coaching. We've always had good battles," said Harris, who is now 8-6 in postseason play in his five years with the Falcons. "I expect to see many more battles here and over at Aycock."
The Falcons concluded the season at 17-4 overall.
In Tuesday's clash, the Bruins' balance proved key. Three different players had at least five blocks and eight kills each -- October Harris, Justine Williams and Charmaine Harris. October Harris had 10 blocks and nine kills, while Charmaine Harris posted seven blocks and 11 kills. Williams added five blocks and eight kills.
Beddingfield's Ashley Davis dished out 20 assists as teammate Lindsey DeKatt posted 12 digs.
"I'm fortunate to have a well-rounded team," said Bruins' coach April Filzen, who has seen her team win 13-straight games.
In a match of long, sustained runs, the Golden Falcons pulled even with Beddingfield during the second set. With the early- going of the second in a back-and-forth battle, Aycock's Chrissy Setliff took serve with her team trailing 9-7. Setliff posted two aces during a ten-point run, while Stephanie Ballance and Jenny Jackson had key kills to push the Falcons out to a 17-9 lead.
The Bruins (16-4) got to within four at 21-17 on a block by October Harris, but Aycock eventually pulled through when Jackson hit through a block attempt to give the Falcons a 25-19 win -- tying the match at 1-1.
"They (Aycock) are very consistent. They don't mess up very much," Filzen said. "They make their opponent make the mistakes. They had us rattled for a while.
"We just played well enough to pull it back together."
The early stages of the third game proved tight as well. Aycock erased a 6-2 deficit to come back and take a 10-8 advantage after a block by Kandace Burroughs -- prompting Filzen to call a timeout.
From there, the Bruins took control.
In a run that stretched from the third set into the fourth, Beddingfield outscored Aycock 36-7 -- winning the third set 25-12 and claiming the fourth and deciding game 25-13.
"It wasn't our lack of effort. I saw us get on the floor tonight more than we have in a while," Harris said. "We made some mistakes, but in the end ... they beat us. That's all I can ask. If we are going to go down, make the other team beat us."
Ballance finished with a career-high 13 kills in her final match for the Falcons, while fellow senior Lindsey Newman added 12 kills. Also seniors, Jackson, Setliff and Karlie West all played in their final volleyball game for Aycock.
The Bruins, who have just three seniors on their roster, host the winner of South Central and Bertie in the second round on Thursday.
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