03/20/09 — Golden Falcons claim ECC lead

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Golden Falcons claim ECC lead

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 20, 2009 1:46 PM

Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference tennis king Charles B. Aycock claimed sole possession of its throne Thursday afternoon.

The reigning league champion seized control in singles play and upended county archrival Eastern Wayne 6-3 in breezy, warm conditions on the Warriors' court. The Golden Falcons remained unbeaten in four ECC contests this season and captured their 14th consecutive victory against league opposition since 2008.

The Warriors suffered their first defeat in seven outings this season.

"Overall, I'm pleased with today," said C.B. Aycock head coach Kevin Coghill. "I think we have some young players who need to get some experience and learn how to believe in themselves. We need to practice some more due to all the weather and matches canceled, but I think we'll be fine.

"I think Eastern Wayne will have a better team the next time we play. We're going to have work hard to beat them the next time."

Eastern Wayne (6-1, 3-1 ECC) competed without two starters -- Aaron Dunmire and Mike Barnette. The absences forced Warriors coach Craig Hassell to move Eric Barnes to the No. 2 spot and first-year varsity starter Marcos Machado to the No. 3 position.

"I thought it was a well-played match on our part considering we were two guys down," said Hassell, who is in his first season with the Warriors. "I think the next match (against Aycock) should really be interesting if we have our full lineup. (Aycock) is very strong up top ... one through four.

"That gives them two good doubles teams as well. Depth is the key to any good team and they're pretty deep."

C.B. Aycock (4-1, 4-0 ECC) grabbed a 4-2 advantage on the singles scene. Junior Blake Vail, the reigning two-time ECC player of the year, turned back the Warriors' Russell Turner 6-3, 6-2.

A freshman, Turner won a state championship on the independent schools level as a seventh-grader at Wayne Country Day. It was Turner's first league loss in four tries.

The Golden Falcons also collected singles points from Addison Westbrook, Ben Nichols and Dylan Quinn. Westbrook labored through numerous unforced errors in the second set and claimed a come-from-behind 6-1, 6-3 victory over Eric Barnes.

Nichols easily defeated Machado 6-2, 6-1. Quinn logged a 6-0, 6-0 shutout against first-year starter Mike Ames.

"I was really proud of the returning players," said Coghill. "They went out with intensity and played really hard. I think the young guys can learn from them. I was pleased with our play at number one and two doubles."

Vail-Quinn prevailed 8-3 over Turner-Barnes at No. 1 doubles. Westbrook-Nichols doubled up Machado-Ames 8-4 at the No. 2 slot.

Eastern Wayne, which is 28-3 in ECC play since 2006, received points from first-year starters Joseph DiCesare and Will Kastner. Each won their respective singles match and combined for a close 8-6 decision at No. 3 doubles.

DiCesare trailed the Golden Falcons' Kadeem Alawar 6-5 in the opening set before taking a 7-6 (8), 6-3 win in singles.

"Joe and Will played really tough and didn't let up," said Hassell. "Joe did a good job today after losing Tuesday against Beddingfield. Will kept the ball in play, and did what he had to do to win and that's all a coach can ask of a player."

C.B. Aycock 6

Eastern Wayne 3

Singles: No. 1 Blake Vail (CBA) d. Russell Turner 6-3, 6-2; No. 2 Addison Westbrook (CBA) d. Eric Barnes 6-1, 6-3; No. 3 Ben Nichols (CBA) d. Marcos Machado 6-2, 6-1; No. 4 Dylan Quinn (CBA) d. Mike Ames 6-0, 6-0; No. 5 Joseph DiCesare (EW) d. Kadeem Alawar 7-6 (8), 6-3; No. 6 Will Kastner (EW) d. Rex Rose 6-1, 6-3.

Doubles: No. 1 Vail-Qunn (CBA) d. Turner-Barnes 8-3; No. 2 Westbrook-Nichols (CBA) d. Machado-Ames 8-4; No. 3 DiCesare-Kastner (EW) d. K. Alawar-Rawad Alawar 8-6.

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

Next match: Monday, New Bern at Eastern Wayne; Tuesday, C.B. Aycock at Southern Wayne