10/05/11 — C.B. Aycock fends off Cleveland

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C.B. Aycock fends off Cleveland

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 5, 2011 1:49 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Cleveland just wouldn't go away.

But Charles B. Aycock was determined its guest wouldn't ruin a senior day celebration Tuesday evening.

The Golden Falcons secured the key points late in each set, and emerged victorious 25-16, 24-26, 25-21, 25-21 on the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference volleyball scene.

"Cleveland always frustrates me and always frustrates my players. I don't know why," said 12th-year Aycock head coach Davis Harris. "I was pleased with the way we hung in there ... battled and battled. The momentum totally shifted, we could have gotten down on some calls, but we pulled out a win."

Senior outside Connor Davis pounded out 16 kills in her final regular-season home match. Meredith Burroughs and Madison Mercer cranked out seven kills apiece.

Emily Martin distributed 19 assists. Senior libero Brooke Bell led the defense with 18 digs.

Cleveland junior middle hitter Courtney Ireland mashed 15 kills and posted a match-high seven blocks. Sophomore setter Courtney Morris logged a double-double -- 14 kills, 12 assists. Morris harassed the Golden Falcon defense with off-speed dumps to the back corners throughout the match.

"Ireland, no matter where she is, it's like we get out of our game, stop playing and start worrying about what Cleveland is doing," said Harris. "The pushes on the second hit, we were creeping in (defensively), weren't waiting for that second ball to be passed, but we were moving.

"The back corner was open when we did that."

Aycock (11-3 overall, 7-2 ECC) polished off the first set on Burroughs' solo block against Ireland and Davis' kill off Martin's assist. Cleveland erased a seven-point deficit in the second set and tied the match at 1-all on Ireland's solo block and Kaitlyn Cowell's service ace.

The teams battled through 10 ties and four lead changes in the third set. Madison Martin's off-speed shot at the net and a passing error by the Rams gave the Golden Falcons a 19-16 advantage.

Mercer's block kept Aycock in front and Rachel Jordan, who served a match-high seven aces, delivered an ace on set point.

A hitting error gave the Golden Falcons a pivotal sideout midway through the fourth set. Davis' kill and back-to-back aces from Mercer pushed the advantage to 18-14.

Emily Martin's kill off Jordan's assist gave Aycock its biggest lead, 23-16. The Rams fended off two match points before a service error completed the Golden Falcons' regular-season sweep.

"We pulled it out," said Harris.