Focused Golden Falcons move on
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 7, 2008 3:44 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Focused and confident, the Charles B. Aycock men's tennis team had little trouble with J.H. Webb on Tuesday afternoon.
The Golden Falcons posted first-set shutouts on two singles courts and dropped just one game on two other courts. The quick start rattled the Warriors and led to a 5-0, opening-round victory in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A dual-team playoffs.
Aycock (19-2 overall) continues play next Tuesday at Coastal Conference champion D.H. Conley.
"The guys went out and got business done," said Golden Falcons head coach Kevin Coghill. "We won first sets really fast on the first four courts. That gave us confidence and momentum. We had some tougher second sets, but we pulled them out."
Sixth-seeded Dylan Quinn sealed the Golden Falcons' 13th shutout of the season with a 6-0, 6-1 decision over Seth Newton.
Third-seeded Blake Cooper and fourth-seeded Ben Evans, two of three seniors on the team, each logged a 6-0 result in their respective opening sets. Cooper dumped Tim Seitzer 6-0, 7-5 and Evans stopped Liang Zhang 6-0, 6-1.
Sophomores Blake Vail and Addison Westbrook each posted a straight-set victory. Fifth-seeded Ben Nichols, a junior, erased a three-game deficit to win the opening set 7-6 (3). The second set was not contested.
"One thing I talked with the guys about is we have three seniors (including Cooper Johnson) who would like to play some more," said Coghill. "We don't want to send them home early."
Aycock, the Eastern Carolina Conference champion, claimed its third playoff win its in last four tries. The Golden Falcons ousted the Warriors (10-7) from the postseason for the second straight year.
"We've had a good year so far and all this is gravy," said Coghill.
Vail, along with the tandems of Westbrook-Cooper and Evans-Quinn, return to action Friday in the NCHSAA eastern regionals at Barton College. Vail picked up his second straight ECC singles championship, while Westbrook-Cooper grabbed the ECC doubles crown.
The top four regional placers advance to the state finals in two weeks at the Burlington Tennis Center.
"We are doing some individual work on some weaknesses that we have," said Coghill. "The guys showed some improvement (today) on those things we've been working on. We do have to get them ready for this weekend."
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