Gaffney, S.C.—North Greenville opened the 2016 season with an exciting win on Tuesday night, scoring a 3-2 victory over the saints on their home court.
The Crusaders took a 1-0 lead in the set count after a 25-21 victory in the opening frame. North Greenville and Limestone then put together consecutive sets of extra volleyball as the score went well beyond the usual 25-points needed to win.
North Greenville was victorious in the second frame as it came out on top of a 29-27 decision. The Crusaders closed out the game with a 3-0 run capped by a service ace from Alexander Schinzing. Schinzing evened the tally at 27 two points earlier with one of his two kills.
The Crusaders would fall in the next two sets as the Saints fought to extend the game to a winner take all fifth game. They did so with a 32-30 win in the third and a 25-14 win over NGU in the fourth frame.
The fifth set would bounce back and forth as the two squads traded points. NGU found itself facing game point as the Saints took a 14-13 lead but a service error would even the count and give the Crusaders life. North Greenville would hold advantage but Limestone would stay close until back-to-back kills from Luuga Vailu'u and Caleb Arelus earned North Greenville an 18-16 win.
Matthew McManaway and Vailu'u led the Crusaders with 14 kills each while Jon Childes finished with 12. The Crusaders had five service aces including two each from Schinzing and Connor Rhine and one from Caleb Arelus. Schinzing also had 52 assists.
Defensively NGU got big help from Dustin King who had 17 digs and Rhine who led NGU with five of the team's 16 block assists. Vailu'u led with four solo blocks while Arelus had three singles.
Tuesday's win over Limestone is the first win over the Saints for the second year NGU Men's Volleyball program. North Greenville will take a few days off before returning to the court on Saturday to host defending Conference Carolinas Champion Pfeiffer University. First serve is scheduled for 2pm in Hayes Gymnasium.