Aycock consistent in the clutch against Kinston
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 14, 2007 3:06 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Consistency when it counts.
It's an intangible that has eluded Charles B. Aycock at times this season, but was on display at critical moments Thursday afternoon. The Golden Falcons started off strong and showed composure late in their 27-25, 20-25, 25-16, 18-25, 15-9 conquest of Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference foe Kinston.
Aycock (2-6 overall, 1-1 ECC) looked solid early on in game one jumping out to a 10-3 lead behind three kills, a block and an ace from Bridgette Briggs. Trailing 17-11, Kinston rattled off 10 straight points, six of which came of errors from the Golden Falcons. In the blink of an eye, the Vikings had gone on top 21-16. A pair of kills from Briggs, and numerous Kinston miscues helped Aycock prevail 27-25.
The Golden Falcons went from aggressors to observers in game two, while the Vikings went on the attack. Aycock gave away 16 points off errors, while Kinston had just five kills in its 25-20 triumph in game two.
"Our mistakes let them back in the game," said Aycock coach Davis Harris.
Briggs came to life in game three, pounding out four kills and delivering an ace. Beth Carter contributed three aces and two kills. Aycock dominated around the net, limiting the Vikings to just three kills, while giving up just one ace in a 25-16 win.
Those fortunes all changed for the Golden Falcons in game four. With the opportunity to put the match away with a win, serves were suddenly off the mark, routine kill opportunities were wasted and the teamwork that had been a strong point in games one and three disappeared. Kinston capitalized and built a 14-9 lead en route to a seven-point decision.
"What we've got to learn is that we have to play to win," Harris said. "We can't wait for the other team to make mistakes. We have to play to win the match. When we wait for the other team to make mistakes that is when we start to mistakes."
Briggs opened game five with six consecutive service points as Aycock went from sputtering to a model of consistency in a matter of minutes. Meanwhile, Kinston seemed to be unraveling under pressure. The Vikings committed errors on five of the game's first eight points and the Golden Falcons went on to a 15-9 win.
"I told them in the huddle, 'We're going to see what you're made of right here,'" Harris said. "They stepped up and I think it was real key to get off to that 4-0 lead right off the start. That was a huge momentum boost for us."
Briggs recorded three of her 17 kills in the deciding game, while also tallying three aces for the match. Carter finished with 12 kills and five aces.
"Beth picked it up after about game two, I believe," Harris said. "Bridgette was great tonight. She got some of her better hits tonight that she's had all season."
By displaying poise and plenty of resolve in a match that easily could have slipped away, Aycock earned a vital conference win and perhaps a victory to build on in the process.
"We needed this bad," Davis said. "Its been a learning process this year. We knew Kinston was going to be much improved. We had to have this one tonight conference wise. We kept ourselves in the race with a win tonight."
The Golden Falcons visit Wilson Hunt on Tuesday.
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