ECC rivals battle through inconsistency
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 28, 2011 1:48 PM
PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock head coach Davis Harris folded his arms, looked toward the court and said to his players, "you got yourselves in this, you can get yourselves out."
Those words summed up the Golden Falcons' up-and-down performance in a 25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 27-25 victory over Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference rival North Lenoir on Tuesday afternoon.
Both teams committed numerous errors and failed to serve with consistency.
Connor Davis' kill put Aycock in front 18-14 in the first set. The Hawks fought back, and Cheyenne Sualevai and Dani Moulton combined for blocks on consecutive points to create an 18-18 tie.
Emily Martin's kill off Madison Mercer's assist put the Golden Falcons in front at 21-20. North Lenoir gave away a pair of critical points on errors, and kills from Mercer and Davis finished off the opening set.
Set two was a back-and-forth struggle full of unforced errors.
Heidi Milliken's kill created a 17-17 tie. Hannah Gerding's block gave the Hawks a 19-17 advantage. Aycock was plagued by miscues down the stretch, including a mistake on set point.
Davis contributed a pair of kills as the Golden Falcons erased an 18-15 deficit in set three. Aycock recorded 10 of the final 12 points on a run fueled by North Lenoir errors.
"We actually had some breakdowns at time," Hawks' head coach Heather Carson said. "We just couldn't get past that and we missed some serves when we needed them bad."
Gerding and Moulton combined for a block as North Lenoir jumped out to a 10-5 lead in set four. The Golden Falcons responded, and Davis' off-speed hit combined with Karen Craig's block and Mercer's kill, cut the margin to 11-10.
Rachel Jordan supplied a pair of aces. Davis and Meredith Burroughs each contributed a kill as Aycock grabbed a 16-12 advantage.
The Golden Falcons' suddenly lost their serving touch and Milliken's kill gave the Hawks a 20-18 lead. Two more kills from Davis helped tie the set at 24-24. Gerding's off-speed hit created a 25-25 tie before Craig's tip and Jordan's ace finished off the match.
Davis finished with 15 kills. Mercer added 9 kills and Craig had five blocks.
"Connor Davis was awesome tonight," Harris said. "I think we were a little sluggish. I don't know why. We just played well enough in spurts to win. I know we missed too many serves. The energy wasn't there except for at times when we had to have it."
Milliken recorded seven kills and Gerding had seven kills and six blocks. Molly Braxton distributed 10 assists and Sualevai contributed nine blocks.
Aycock (9-3 overall, 5-2 ECC) visits South Johnston on Thursday, while North Lenoir travels to Triton.