Thursday, February 5, 2015

Tigerville, S.C.—North Greenville's bid for a Conference Carolinas upset fell short on Thursday night, after a 3-1 loss to Pfeiffer University.

North Greenville battled the Conference Carolinas third place team aggressively in the first set, taking a 3-1 lead early on. The Crusaders would trail 20-19 late, but regrouped after a timeout to take a 21-20 lead. NGU would close the set on a 4-2 run to take a 1-0 set lead over the road weary Falcons. The Crusaders pounded out 12 kills during the opening frame, with three services aces and four total blocks.

Set two would be just as competitive as the Crusaders led 23-21, late. North Greenville controlled the second frame for much of the time, but three straight for Pfeiffer, including a kill out of an NGU timeout would earn the Falcons a 24-23 lead. Curtis Westra would even the score at 24-24 before consecutive kills evened the set score at 1-1.

Things unraveled some for NGU in the third set, as the Crusaders struggled from the service line. NGU committed five miscues from the service line, leading to free points for the Falcons. NGU also hurt itself with four attack errors, while only registering six kills, their lowest offensive output of the game after 12 in the first, and 18 in the second.

North Greenville looked to force a game five as the Crusaders trailed 2-1 at the beginning of the fourth. NGU led by as many as four, but Pfeiffer worked its way back into the catbird seat late, taking a 22-20 lead. Martin Alcox would cut into the lead with one of his nine kills, to pull North Greenville to within 22-21. Pfeiffer finished NGU off in the fourth, taking three of the next five points though, downing NGU 3-1, leaving the Crusaders still searching for their first conference win.

NGU's leader on offense on Thursday was freshmen Matthew McManaway who finished with 16 kills and 3.5 blocks on the defensive side of the net. Dustin King finished with 16 digs, while Alexander Schinzing led the NGU in assists with 32. The Crusaders finished with 48 kills and 21 errors on offense. Curtis Westra also had double-digit kills with 10.

North Greenville falls to 3-8 on the season and 0-5 in league play after the loss to the Falcons. The Crusaders will be back in action on February 13th when they welcome the University of Charleston (West Virginia) to Tigerville for a 7pm first serve.