Goldsboro defeated Fairmont 25-6, 25-21, 25-17 in the opening round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A playoffs.
Winners of 11 straight games, the Cougars travel to Durham to face the N.C. School of Science and Math in the second round on Tuesday.
“I was little worried playing on Saturday because it’s out of our norm, but the girls showed up, and they played,” Goldsboro head coach Pam Tart said.
Goldsboro could not have asked for a better start in the first set. The Cougars opened the game on a 7-0 run and went on to take a 17-4 lead.
Fairmont had no answer for the Cougars, and an ace from Brianna Moye gave the Cougars a 25-6 win in the first set.
“I thought after the first set that we’d coast, and then going into the second set, the momentum switched a little bit,” Tart said. “Fairmont is fighting just like we’re fighting. It’s win or go home.” Tart said.
Back-to-back kills from Hallie Brown, and Moye gave the Cougars a 12-6 edge in the second set.
Fairmont hung around and eventually closed the gap to 23-21 but fell behind 24-21 when Brown slammed down another kill as the Cougars closed out the second set.
“Fairmont is extremely athletic,” Tart said. “I don’t know how old those girls are or any of that, but they brought it.”
The Cougars found themselves down 8-7 in the third set, which forced Tart to call a timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, the Cougars won two straight points, with Elizabeth Howell’s kill giving the Cougars a 9-8 lead.
Howell’s kill helped spark a 10-6 run that saw the Cougars pull ahead 19-14. For the remainder of the set, Fairmont could get no closer than 21-17, and the Cougars closed out the third set on a 5-0 run.
Tart knows what she wants to see out of her team in the second round.
“We have to work harder defensively. We’ve been practicing and preaching passing the whole time, and it wasn’t our strongest thing in this game, and I told them, ‘we’ve got to have that because if we don’t have that, then we don’t have much.”