09/14/07 — Eastern Wayne ends CBA's streak

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Eastern Wayne ends CBA's streak

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 14, 2007 3:11 PM

PIKEVILLE -- For 28-plus years, opponents couldn't devise a winning formula to defeat the Charles B. Aycock women's tennis in conference play.

Eastern Wayne did Thursday afternoon.

Respectful of the Golden Falcons' extensive win streak, the Warriors played calm and relaxed, and never wilted on the crucial points. The result was an 8-1 triumph, which broke Aycock's phenomenal consecutive conference-match win string at 305.

The Warriors (5-1 overall) gained sole possession of first place in the Class 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference at 4-0. C.B. Aycock (6-4) dropped to 3-1 against league opposition.

When Emily Northington claimed the final singles point to seal the outcome, there was no noticeable celebration among the Eastern Wayne players. Choking back tears, a jovial Nancy Dawson praised her team for its sportsmanship.

"When you do something like this, it's not nice to go completely crazy," said Dawson, the Warriors' veteran coach. "To me, if you do something like that, it does not give Aycock the respect they're due. Them and Greene Central have set the bar for eastern North Carolina tennis.

"Nobody will ever take that away from them."

Aycock's mind-boggling streak spanned five conferences in the 2-A and 3-A ranks. Farmville Central handed the Golden Falcons their last loss when the two schools competed in the Eastern Plains Conference.

"I think the tension and thinking about all the matches they've won over the years kind of got to them, and they got rattled, especially when they got behind," said Golden Falcons coach Luke Vail. "I think they were stressed out a little bit. Eastern Wayne played more relaxed with the 'all to gain, nothing to lose scenario.'

"Our kids were playing more with the pride of keeping the streak going."

A year ago, the Golden Falcons' dominance in conference play undoubtedly provided a psychological edge each time they stepped onto the court. But with a year of experience and unyielding confidence, Eastern Wayne's players exemplified a cool demeanor in breezy, but humid conditions.

They attacked short balls at the net, countered Aycock's offensive game and dictated the tempo. The Warriors seized three third-set tiebreakers and swept the singles matches.

"They basically had the same players as last year, but we came over here with the knowledge and experience that we could play with them," said Casie Musgrave, who took a three-set win. "Instead of worrying so much about the streak, we just had to play our game and not theirs. We had to control the tempo and stay focused on the game.

"We didn't need to get caught up so much with the 'what ifs' on previous points."

In addition to Musgrave, second-seeded Lauren Bynum turned back Courtney Barnes 4-6, 6-4, 10-8. Barnes fought off five match points in the third-set tiebreaker. Fifth-seeded Danielle Daniel edged Jessica Davis, a first-year starter, 2-6, 6-2, 10-3.

Lindsey Frederick and Mollie Musgrave each rolled to straight-set decisions.

The Warriors, winners of five straight ECC matches, received doubles victories from Frederick-M. Musgrave and Daniel-Kelsi Yates. Frederick-M. Musgrave are the reigning ECC doubles champions.

C.B. Aycock avoided the shutout when Barnes-Quinn stopped Bynum-C. Musgrave 8-4 at No. 1 doubles.

"Eastern Wayne came over hungry," said Vail. "They came out, played hard and I thought they played really well. I thought we played well at times, but we just didn't piece it all together on the big points.

"That was the difference."

Eastern Wayne 8

C.B. Aycock 1

Singles: No. 1 Lindsey Frederick (EW) d. Kristen Prosser 6-2, 6-2; No. 2 Lauren Bynum (EW) d. Courtney Barnes 4-6, 6-4, 10-8; No. 3 Mollie Musgrave (EW) d. Emilee Quinn 6-3, 6-0; No. 4 Casie Musgrave (EW) d. Kristen Bennett 6-3, 1-6, 10-7; No. 5 Danielle Daniel (EW) d. Jessica Davis 2-6, 6-2, 10-3; No. 6 Emily Northington (EW) d. Mallory Strickland 6-2, 6-1.

Doubles: No. 1 Barnes-Quinn (CBA) d. Bynum-C. Musgrave 8-4; No. 2 Frederick-M. Musgrave (EW) d. Prosser-Bennett 8-3; No. 3 Daniel-Kelsi Yates (EW) d. Davis-Strickland 8-4.

Records: Eastern Wayne 5-1, 4-0 ECC; C.B. Aycock 6-4, 3-1.