The North Greenville men’s volleyball season concluded in heartbreaking fashion, as the team lost its first round conference tournament game to Barton College, three sets to two.
Barton dominated the beginning of the first set, recording the first eight points of the game before the Crusaders could get on the board. North Greenville was never able to get back into the set, as Barton held the Crusader attack to just 12 points in the first set, winning 25-12.
The Crusaders came back fighting in the second set, however, and took an early 6-3 lead behind three quick kills from Luuga Vailu’u. The Bulldogs fought their way back into the set before the Crusaders went on a 9-3 run, extending their lead to 17-10 in the set. Barton pushed for a late set comeback but were unable to succeed, as North Greenville took set two by a score of 25-19.
The third set was a battle, as the teams traded the lead back and forth for the first 10 points of the match before Barton was able to reel off four straight points and take a 16-11 lead. The run rattled the Crusaders, as Barton dominated the rest of the set, finishing with a 9-4 run to take the set victory 25-15.
Once again, the Crusaders recovered from a tough set with a great one, as they jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead to start set four. Barton was able to cut into the lead before the teams began trading points. North Greenville was able to extend the lead up to six points late in the set before the Bulldogs made a late comeback bid. It would not be enough as a Caleb Arelus kill sealed the set for the Crusaders.
In the fifth and final set, the Bulldogs proved to be too much for the Crusaders, as Barton jumped out to a 7-0 lead that would be too much to overcome. The Bulldogs coasted from there to a first round victory.
Jon Childes led the Crusader attack with 18 kills, while Aaron Campbell had 12, Vailu’u had 11 and Matthew McManaway had 10. Alexamder Schinzing and Campbell held the team with nine digs apiece while Dustin King added eight.
The Crusaders finished up the 2016 season with a record of 11-14, earning the sixth seed in the Conference Carolinas tournament this season.