10/25/13 — Warriors' "Cinderella" run ends

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Warriors' "Cinderella" run ends

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 25, 2013 1:48 PM


WILSON -- Midnight finally came for Cinderella.

Eastern Wayne's fairy-tale postseason run ended with a 25-22, 25-20, 25-18 loss to Wilson Fike in third-round action of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 3-A volleyball playoffs on Thursday evening.

The Golden Demons face Chapel Hill on Saturday.

"Nobody expected us to be here anyway," EW head coach Tony Parrish said. "I told the girls to hold their heads up when they walked off the court. I'm so proud of them."

The Warriors earned their invitation to the 64-team ball with a first-place finish among the 3-A teams in the Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference. They out-lasted their first two dance partners, Cleveland and South Brunswick, and met for a third waltz with Big East champion Fike.

This dance lasted more than an hour.

The teams encountered mid-set lulls and struggled to find a consistent rhythm in their respective offensive systems. The Golden Demons finished with a slight 34-31 edge in team kills and out-blocked the Warriors, 8-3.

Eastern Wayne led 9-7 in service aces and 22-21 in total team assists.

"They're a good team," Parrish said. "We were familiar (with them), they were familiar with us. We were just trying to play our game because that's what got us to this point. We were fighting the whole (night). We still didn't give up."

Fike reeled off the first five points of the match, but Eastern Wayne clawed its way back to an 8-8 tie. After an exchange of sideouts, the Warriors built a 15-12 advantage on two consecutive service aces by setter Kendra Nash.

Savannah Newtons' kill of an overpass tied the set at 19-19. The Golden Demons scored six of the next nine points and capped run with Rachel Garrou's ace.

Kills from Amanda Hall, Jenna Rouse (10 kills) and Mariah Stephens (six kills, two solo blocks) sparked a second-set comeback. A Fike hitting error tied the set at 16-all, and the Golden Demons -- again -- responded with a late offensive surge.

The second set ended on the Warriors' seventh service error of the match.

Eastern Wayne battled to a 7-7 tie in the third set on consecutive aces by Stephens. The Golden Demons pulled away with an 11-4 run and eventually claimed their third win over the Warriors this season.

"We got a little passive there in the middle of all of the sets where we were just pushing it back, staying on our heels," Parrish said. "We were almost playing not to lose and you can't do that. Our offense, when we were on, they couldn't stop it."

The loss ended the prep careers of Eastern Wayne seniors Nash, Hall, Stephens, Erica Duke, Starla Strickland, Ramsye Eason and Carmen Vickory.