Golden Demons eliminate Aycock
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 11, 2011 1:46 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Unforced errors against a patient opponent led to Charles B. Aycock's second-round exit in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A dual-team men's tennis playoffs Tuesday afternoon.
Fike pounced on just about every mistake and claimed a 5-1 victory.
The Golden Demons (13-4 overall) continue play next Tuesday afternoon at Eastern Wayne, which eliminated previously-unbeaten West Carteret, 7-2. First serve is 4 p.m. at New Hope.
Aycock concluded the year 18-3.
"Inconsistent groundstrokes were our number one enemy today, and to Fike's credit they kept the ball in play," said Golden Falcons head coach Luke Vail. "It came down to a lot of deuce games and they won the big points, and I think that was the difference in the match in the end.
"They played well and our guys knew they had their hands full."
The teams split their regular-season series with each winning on the other team's home court.
"I had no idea that we could sweep it in singles today and to get out of here with five (wins) in singles ...", said Fike head coach Lee Matthews as he took off his cap and wiped sweat from his brow.
The Golden Falcons couldn't develop a rhythm against the composed Golden Demons, who earned their 12th playoff victory in program history. The missed chances began to pile up on each court and frustration shrouded the Aycock players' faces each time they chatted with Vail during changeovers.
Vail attributed the struggles to poor first serves. Fike's players constantly capitalized on the off-speed second serves.
"I think our guys had some opportunities, but we missed those opportunities because we had such a low first-serve percentage," said Vail. "You've got to serve better than we served today against a high-caliber team."
Fike claimed two crucial points at Nos. 2 and 3 singles.
Second-seeded Kyle Lewis rallied from a 3-2 opening-set deficit to hand Aycock's Addison Vail a 6-3, 6-2 defeat. Lewis made Vail stay in rallies and didn't give him balls to make winners on, but kept the ball in play until Vail got flustered.
Teammate Phillip Packard bullied Bradley Wilson with several net winners in a come-from-behind 6-4, 7-5 decision. Packard charged the net on numerous occasions after hitting defensive lobs which pinned Wilson deep on the baseline.
Wilson lost three-game advantages in each set.
"Kyle and Phillip have got some nice strokes for winners ... some shots they can hit winners with," said Matthews. "They both stayed patient and that made a big difference today."
East regional runner-up Nick James defeated Aycock sophomore Will Hoff 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1 singles. The Golden Demons' Rob Brown and Drayton Williams each triumphed in straight sets at Nos. 5 and 6 singles, respectively.
Michael Kearney claimed the Golden Falcons' lone point and finished the season with a sparkling 20-1 record. The freshman played consistent from start to finish in a 6-0, 6-2 conquest of Connor Schmidt at the No. 4 spot.
"Kearney has played exceptional all season long," said Vail. "He's played as well as anybody on the team. Ability-wise, he's stepped up, progressed and gotten stronger as the season went on."
It was the final match for Aycock seniors Wilson and Rex Rose.