Aycock knocks off state-ranked Rams
By Steve Roush
Published in Sports on April 19, 2007 1:48 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Extremely respectful of Greene Central's aggressive nature in men's tennis, Charles B. Aycock head coach Kevin Coghill encouraged his team to match the Rams' intensity Wednesday afternoon.
He got his wish. The Golden Falcons avenged two singles losses and survived shaky doubles play to turn back the state-ranked Rams 5-4. C.B. Aycock (11-7 overall) collected its seventh win in its last 11 outings, while Greene Central exited 10-5.
Although no conference or playoff implications rested on the outcome, the two teams staged an emotion- and intense-filled match. Shouts of exultation or a pump of the fist punctuated every winning point during the 3-hour, 40-minute marathon.
Coghill heaped praise on his top four singles players.
"We honestly played our best singles of the year," said Coghill. "My one through four (players) really stepped it up."
Freshman Blake Vail remained unbeaten in 18 contests with a 6-2, 6-1 decision over Travis Moore. Moore pulled within 3-2 in the opening set, but won just one of the next 10 games.
Addison Westbrook took 11 straight games against Rams senior Banks Nimmo. Nimmo closed the gap to 5-2 in the second set and nearly took a third game until Westbrook out-dueled him on a series of net volleys.
Westbrook won the point and the match 6-0, 6-2.
Third-seeded Ben Evans out-slugged Trey Cash 6-4, 4-6, 10-6 and fourth-seeded Blake Cooper escaped Spencer Dail 7-6 (5), 6-4. Cash and Dail won the previous meetings.
"Amazing," a smiling Coghill said of Evans and Cooper. "They played their best matches of the year ... unbelievable. Evans played really well. I feel blessed and lucky that we won at three and four today.
"Last time, we lost pretty easily."
The Rams received straight-set singles wins from first-year starters James Kersey and Andrew Harrison.
"(Kersey, Harrison) played some of their best tennis today; more aggressive and yet consistent at the same time," said Greene Central head coach Brad Sauls. "We've had a hard time finding the balance at the bottom of our lineup.
"Andrew played his best match of the year. He struggled the last time he played him (Dylan Quinn), but took control of the match from the beginning, and never let go."
Needing three doubles points to sweep the regular-season series, Greene Central got off to a great start with victories on courts 1 and 2.
Moore-Nimmo held off a late charge from Vail-Westbrook and triumphed 8-5. Cash-Dail reeled off five consecutive games and easily dealt Evans-Quinn an 8-2 setback.
Coghill wondered why Aycock's intensity faded after singles.
"For some reason, I think since we won four courts, they thought that it was pretty much over," said Coghill. "We all went out there and looked like zombies, not moving well at the net."
The Rams led 3-2 on court 3 and Coghill talked with the 6-foot-1 Cooper during the changeover. He encouraged Cooper to attack the net since Harrison and seventh-seeded Jason Perry hit consistent, low groundstrokes.
Cooper began to volley and poach at the net, and the Golden Falcon duo moved in front 4-3. Nichols held serve and Harrison double faulted on game point to give Aycock a 6-3 advantage.
The tandems traded games and Cooper clinched the outcome with a forehand winner down the middle. Their teammates rushed the court and celebrated a long-awaited victory over one of the state's top Class 2-A programs.
"All three (doubles) courts played really well," said Sauls. "Their number three doubles team is very tough. Aycock did a great job as far as their tennis goes.
"It was a great match."
C.B. Aycock 5
Greene Central 4
Singles -- No. 1 Blake Vail (CBA) d. Travis Moore 6-2, 6-1; No. 2 Addison Westbrook (CBA) d. Banks Nimmo 6-0, 6-2; No. 3 Ben Evans (CBA) d. Trey Cash 6-4, 4-6, 10-6; No. 4 Blake Cooper (CBA) d. Spencer Dail 7-6 (5), 6-4; No. 5 James Kersey (GC) d. Ben Nichols 6-4, 6-1; No. 6 Andrew Harrison (GC) d. Dylan Quinn 6-0, 6-3.
Doubles -- No. 1 Moore-Nimmo (GC) d. Vail-Westbrook 8-5; No. 2 Cash-Dail (GC) d. Evans-Quinn 8-2; No. 3 Cooper-Nichols (CBA) d. Harrison-James Perry 8-4.
Records: C.B. Aycock 11-7, Greene Central 10-5.
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