10/19/11 — Aycock sets up third meeting with Triton

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Aycock sets up third meeting with Triton

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 19, 2011 1:50 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Keep swinging.

Chip away.

And whatever you do, don't let them come back.

All those thoughts flowed through the Charles B. Aycock players Tuesday evening when South Johnston raced to a seven-point advantage in the third set.

"We reminded ourselves of what we did to them at their place ... we came back (from two sets down) and said we can't let them do that to us," said Aycock senior setter Rachel Jordan.

The Golden Falcons didn't.

Connor Davis smashed a match-high 15 kills and Jordan dished out 20 assists during a 25-20, 25-21, 25-16 victory over the Trojans in semifinal-round play of the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference volleyball tournament. Aycock (15-4 overall) opposes two-time defending ECC champion Triton in the title match today at Erwin. First serve is 6 p.m.

"We played hard the whole time," said Jordan.

Especially in the third set.

The third-seeded Trojans (16-9) grabbed a 4-0 lead on Shannon Tart's kill, Kaitlyn Barbour's service ace, an Aycock hitting error and a double block executed by Whitney Williams and Heather Capps.

South Johnston extended its advantage to 7-0 before the Golden Falcons' Meredith Burroughs connected on an off-speed kill off Emily Martin's assist. The teams traded sideouts and short scoring bursts until Aycock (15-4) tied the set at 13-13 on Davis' kill down the line.

The Trojans attempted to slow down Davis with the double block on the outside until the senior hitter connected on three straight kills to the back corner. South adjusted its defense, Davis returned to her normal cross-court game and delivered cut shots that dropped inside the 3-meter line.

"The double block made me want to hit even harder," grinned Davis. "(Coach Davis) Harris said to mix it up a little a little bit. They've played us three times so they know where I go. We had to fight back ... play hard and we did. It was definitely a team effort."

Davis' kills spearheaded a set- and match-clinching 12-3 run. Burroughs contributed three kills, while Martin supplied a kill and a solo block. Madison Martin capped the comeback with a match-ending kill off Jordan's assist.

"South Johnston wasn't going to quit," said Harris. "After the first four points (of the third set), we sat back and said 'are we going to do this again?' Our feet weren't moving. And it wasn't any one stretch where we came back.

"We just chipped away, chipped away and chipped away."

Aycock owned a 40-24 edge in kills and hit .262 for the match.

The Golden Falcons averaged double digits in digs per set, and got an outstanding performance from libero Brooke Bell. The senior dug up monster shots and covered the floor well on off-speed hits, which helped jump-start the Aycock offense.

Davis' closed out the opening set with a floating service ace that the Trojans' back row couldn't handle. A dropped ball on the second pass allowed the Golden Falcons to claim the second set and a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-five contest.