08/27/10 — WCDS closes the door

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WCDS closes the door

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on August 27, 2010 1:46 PM

Pushed to the brink for three sets, Wayne Country Day closed the door when it mattered most.

The Chargers finished strong in all three sets of a 25-18, 25-23, 25-20 non-conference victory at Goldsboro on Thursday.

Goldsboro struggled to slow down the Chargers' tandem of Kim Martell and Hannah Pearson. Martell and Pearson combined for 10 kills and two aces in the opening set. Martell's kill ignited Wayne Country Day's 4-0 run that gave the Chargers a 15-11 lead.

The Cougars pulled within 16-15, but Pearson tallied four kills and an ace down the stretch to help close out the set.

"At first it was basic fundamentals," said Wayne Country Day head coach Juliet Jones. "With free balls we weren't getting the ball up to the setter. Our girls found a way. When we get a good pass and a good set we find the holes, and I'm just grateful for that."

Goldsboro scrapped throughout the second set and Brandy Johnson's kill gave the Cougars a 17-15 lead. The Chargers battled back with seven unanswered points to take a 21-17 lead.

Consecutive unforced errors by the Chargers and Kasheika Wallace's kill allowed Goldsboro to trim the deficit to 24-23. Holly Pittard's serve sailed out bounds to end the set.

"That first set we came out and played hard," said Cougars head coach T.J. Lancaster. "The effort was there. Wayne Country Day is a good team. Those are some of the best hitters we've seen so far. We played them tough and they exposed some weaknesses we need to work on.

"Effort wise, the girls did great."

Martell hammered out a pair of kills and two aces as Wayne Country Day grabbed an 8-4 lead in set three. Johnson's back-to-back aces gave Goldsboro a 10-9 advantage.

The Cougars committed multiple unforced errors at critical moments in the third set as the Chargers took a 21-15 lead. Johnson's ace, Sterling Simmons kill and a Wayne Country Day miscue cut the margin to 21-19.

Martell's kill brought the match to a close. Martell finished with 11 kills and four aces. Pearson added 10 kills.

"Those are my two big hitters," said Jones. "I can always count on them. Even when the pass is off they can find it. I told them to stay aggressive and that's what they did."

The Chargers visit Cape Fear Christian on Monday, while the Cougars (1-4 overall) entertain Hobbton.