10/19/11 — Bulldogs knock out Aycock

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Bulldogs knock out Aycock

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

PIKEVILLE -- Charles B. Aycock ran into a better version of itself Tuesday afternoon -- state-ranked Nash Central.

The unbeaten Bulldogs controlled the tempo from the opening serve on each singles court and cranked out a 6-0, first-round victory in the 2011 N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A girls' dual-team tennis playoffs.

"Nash Central played really well," said fourth-year Golden Falcons head coach Brad Matthews. "They're a better team than we are. From top to bottom they are solid. (But) I couldn't have been more proud of the way my girls played all year long.

"It's been exciting to coach a team as competitive as my girls were this season."

Matthews just wishes the match had occurred later in the postseason.

Nash Central (16-0 overall) captured the Big East championship, while Aycock earned its first Eastern Carolina Conference crown since 2006. The No. 1 vs. No. 1 match didn't sit well with Matthews, but he knew his team would eventually see the No. 3-ranked Dogs somewhere down the line.

"It was just a bad draw," said Matthews. "They're a very good team and they had us on the defense most of the match, kept us on the run. They hit the lines well, had us moving really good and just got us off our game.

"When they hit balls down the line, we were just able to get a racquet on it and send a short ball back. Then they'd put away those short balls and there was nothing we could do about it."

Aycock's Katie Gurley forced a third-set tiebreaker at No. 3 singles before falling to Nash Central's Lizzie Eakin 4-6, 6-4, 10-4. The Bulldogs claimed five singles matches in straight-set fashion.

"Katie played an outstanding match," said Matthews. "She probably played as well as anybody today overall."

The Golden Falcons concluded the year 22-2 overall. It was the final home match for three seniors -- Misty Edwards, Brittany Parrish and Caroline Bone.