09/22/05 — CBA tennis extends phenomenal match streak to 287

View Archive

CBA tennis extends phenomenal match streak to 287

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on September 22, 2005 2:11 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Without Raychel Batts in her usual spots at No. 1 singles and doubles, Charles B. Aycock's girls tennis team proved more than up to the challenge at home against Eastern Wayne.

The Golden Falcons (10-1 overall) remained perfect through the first half of the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference schedule with a 9-0 whitewash of the Warriors. In a streak now in its 27th season, Aycock has now won a whopping 287 straight matches against conference foes.

The Warriors fell to 3-2 against ECC foes heading into the second half.

The match was a completion of a rain-suspended contest that began last Tuesday, in which Batts was out of the lineup as she participated in a tournament in Tennessee. Batts was on hand Wednesday, but due to N.C. High School Athletic Association rules, the lineups were not allowed to change.

"I was pleased with the intensity and emotion we played with as a team," Aycock coach Luke Vail said. "I knew Eastern Wayne would come out and play us really hard. We were without Raychel, and the girls in her absence really stepped up and played hard.

"We had solid play through the lineup in singles and doubles."

Most of the first four singles matches were into their second set when play resumed. All moving up one spot in the lineup, Aycock's Carlyn Claiborne, Nicole Taylor, Laine Purcell and Lizzie Sodoma finished off their matches to pick up four early wins for the Falcons.

Claiborne defeated Lauren Bynum 6-0, 6-3 at No. 1, Purcell topped Brandi Butts 6-1, 6-1 at No. 3, while Sodoma, the No. 4 seed, swept Casie Musgrave 6-2, 6-2. Aycock's Kristen Prosser and Katie Perry followed with straight-set wins at five and six, respectively.

"I was a little intimidated at first, because I haven't played at No. 1," Claiborne said. "At No. 1, they hit a lot harder and have more pace on the ball. You just have to stick with what works for you and what will help you win the match.

"It was different today, but I think we played well under the circumstances of not having her (Batts)."

At No. 2, Taylor and Eastern Wayne's Ashley Smith had the most tightly contested singles match of the afternoon. Taylor took the first set 6-3, then Smith battled back to take a 6-5 advantage in the second set before winning the tie-breaker 7-5. In the final tie-breaker, Taylor regrouped to win 7-4.

Taylor was in another close match at No. 2 doubles as she and Sodoma were down 4-0 to Bynum and Casie Musgrave - then later trailed 6-3. Aycock's No. 2 tandem spoiled Eastern Wayne's best shot at a win on the afternoon, rallying all the way back to win five-straight games to claim an 8-6 victory.

"We were right there. It just slipped right on by, but I've got a young team and they are learning," Eastern Wayne coach Nancy Dawson said. "We had a couple of bad breaks and they turned the tide.

"They (Aycock) always defend their home court tenaciously."

The Golden Falcons' combination of Claiborne-Purcell easily defeated Smith-Butts 8-0 at No. 1 singles, while Prosser-Perry emerged with an 8-2 win at No. 3 over Mollie Musgrave and Sami Abrahamson.

"We've got a group that works well together," Vail said. "We've got some work to do in some areas, but to be 10-1 and 5-0 in the conference, I feel good about the potential of this team."

Both teams return to ECC action at home today. Aycock hosts Wilson Beddingfield, while Eastern Wayne entertains Southern Wayne at Wayne Community College. Both matches are slated for a 4 p.m. start.

C.B. Aycock 9

Eastern Wayne 0

Singles - No. 1 Carlyn Claiborne (CBA) d. Lauren Bynum 6-0, 6-3; No. 2 Nicole Taylor (CBA) d. Ashley Smith 6-3, 6-7 (7-5), 7-4; No. 3 Laine Purcell (CBA) d. Brandi Butts 6-1, 6-1; No. 4 Lizzie Sodoma (CBA) d. Casie Musgrave 6-2, 6-2; No. 5 Kristen Prosser (CBA) d. Mollie Musgrave 6-1, 6-2; No. 6 Katie Perry (CBA) d. Nicole Fine 6-4, 6-4.

Doubles - No. 1 Claiborne-Purcell (CBA) d. Smith-Butts 8-0; No. 2 Taylor-Sodoma (CBA) d. Bynum-C. Musgrave 8-6; No. 3 Prosser-Perry (CBA) d. M. Musgrave-Sami Abrahamson 8-2.