Tigerville, S.C.-- The North Greenville men's volleyball team dropped a heartbreaker to the 8th ranked Pfeiffer Falcons on Saturday falling 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 20-25, 25-20, 19-17).
The Crusaders and Falcons played the first set close as neither team could find a foot hold until late in the frame. A quick three point lead for Pfeiffer would be all the Falcons needed as NGU committed a few erorrs to aide the 25-21 opening frame victory for PU.
The Crusaders got out to a quick 8-5 lead in set two as they looked to even the series. North Greenville continued to lead, building the advantage to as much as 17-11 weathering an attempted comeback from the Falcons. Pfeiffer put down two consecutive points to cut the lead four before NGU came out on top of a long volley to regain a four-point edge. NGU would take the momentum from the rally and cruise to a 25-21 win to even the tally at 1-2 following a McManaway kill to cap the win.
NGU found itself down 12-7 in the third set and took an early timeout to regroup. NGU would pull to within three but four consecutive points from the Falcons would establish a six-point advantage, the largest advantage of the day for either team. A late rally for NGU would fall short as Pfeiffer re-took the lead in set count with a 25-20 win in the third frame.
The fourth set would set up much like the first as neither team was able to gain a comfortable margin. NGU led by two points in the early goings but the Falcons fought back to even the score, but the Crusaders were able to keep the upper-hand. North Greenville then found a groove and took a 19-14 lead. A four-point run from the Falcons would then cut the lead just one point before the Crusaders made the score 20-18. The Crusaders would find some extra energy in the end and come out on top as kills from Connor Rhine and Jon Childes earned NGU a 25-20 victory, forcing the game to a winner take all fifth set.
The Crusaders led by two in the extra set before two points from the Falcons evened the score at 6-6. NGU answered with two of points of its own to take the lead 8-6 as the two squads switched benches. The Crusaders would go on to score seven of the next nine points to earn a 13-9 advantage. Pfeiffer would go on to tie the score at 14, snapping off four consecutive points. The Falcons would come out on top as they earned the final set 19-17, ending NGU's hopes of an upset win.
Childes led the way for the Crusaders with 17 kills while Caleb Arelus had 14. Dustin King had 14 digs to lead the defense while Luuga Vailul'u dished out 5 aces. The Crusaders fall to 1-1 on the season and 1-1 in league play. NGU will return to the court on Emmanuel College at 7pm in Franklin Springs, Georgia.