10/20/09 — Saints earn playoff bid

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Saints earn playoff bid

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 20, 2009 1:47 PM

DUDLEY -- On an emotion-less Monday afternoon, Southern Wayne turned up the intensity.

The spirited play lifted the Saints to a three-set victory -- 26-24, 25-18, 25-20 -- over county rival Charles B. Aycock in the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference volleyball tournament quarterfinals on Monday afternoon.

Fourth-seeded Southern Wayne (4-13 overall) clinched a berth in the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs, and drew a semifinal-round, tournament meeting against regular-season champion Triton.

"We are going to have to develop a defensive gameplan that can keep us in the match against Triton," said Southern Wayne head coach Eric Durol. "They have a pair of excellent hitters, so we will need to stay focused and stick to our strengths."

Both teams opened with a defensive mindset that led to choppy offense and several hitting errors by each squad.

Trailing by one point late in the opening set, the Saints turned the ball over to Madison Davis at the service line and the talented sophomore reeled off three big points to earn the victory.

Southern Wayne used the momentum to open its offense in the second set where Davis and Charity Wright began to find their rhythm in the outside hitting attack. A down-the-line kill by Davis and two consecutive aces by Taylor Hood put the Saints ahead 22-17.

After C.B. Aycock scored to break the momentum, Stephani Rockwell finished the set with back-to-back serves that the Golden Falcons could not handle.

"We just came out flat and we played the first two sets like we were trying not to lose," said Golden Falcons head coach Davis Harris. "We couldn't finish the big points and we never really seized the momentum."

Southern Wayne completed the three-set sweep on the strength of a big third set from Wright, who delivered four kills in the final 12 points. Wright finished with nine kills and Davis added eight. Courtney Holland led the Saints with five blocks.

"I was really pleased with the girls' effort tonight," said Durol. "We were able to use our hitters effectively and once we got over some early nerves we played well."

Brittany Jackson powered the Golden Falcons' attack with nine kills and two blocks. Cassidy Anderson added five kills and one block. Aycock concluded the year 4-14 overall.