08/28/13 — Cougars give Falcons a 4-set test

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Cougars give Falcons a 4-set test

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on August 28, 2013 1:47 PM

Charles B. Aycock did just enough to escape Norvell T. Lee Gymnasium with a win.

Goldsboro proved its program is more competitive than its been in a long time.

The Golden Falcons survived a resilient effort from the Cougars for a 25-20, 25-18, 16-25, 25-16 non-conference victory on Tuesday evening. Meredith Burroughs led Aycock with six kills, three aces and a block. Ashley Darden added four kills.

Aycock overcame an 18-16 deficit late in the opening set. Kills from Darden and Katie Gay and Madison Martin's ace helped the Golden Falcons rally.

Goldsboro also committed costly miscues down the stretch.

"We're still young and we have two sophomores and two freshmen that start at times," Cougars' head coach T.J. Lancaster said. "I think we came off a tough match Monday at Fike and they showed us what we had to work on. We came out here and we played better.

"I think we opened some eyes."

Aycock (2-0 overall) led throughout the second set as Burroughs made her presence felt. She tallied three aces, a block and four kills -- including two off-speed.

Mattie Rose Lyon reeled off four aces to pull the Cougars to within 18-14, but Goldsboro couldn't close the gap. Lyon finished with seven aces. Alexus Davis provided five kills. Becka Pittard had four kills.

Faced with the daunting task of coming back from down two sets, the Cougars rallied. Goldsboro turned in its best set of the match with crisp passes and its hitters found holes in the Golden Falcons' defense.

Two kills from Davis and a pair of aces from Lyon helped Goldsboro build an 18-9 advantage. The Cougars rode a wave of momentum throughout set three as Aycock was haunted by unforced errors.

"We came out tonight and we played Aycock hard," Lancaster said. "I was very proud of how we came back. I am very pleased with the effort."

The Golden Falcons began to pull away midway through the fourth set. Cierra Harris provided back-to-back aces and Burroughs added a kill and an ace to put the finishing touches on a non-conference win.

"School started back and our mind was just not what it needed to be on tonight," Aycock head coach Emily Burke said. "We saw that we can't let teams rattle us. We got rattled, and when we got rattled we got away from basic volleyball. When we get away from our basics we've got nothing else to fall back on."

The Golden Falcons visit South Johnston today. Goldsboro (2-2) plays host to Wilson Beddingfield on Thursday.