Tigerville, S.C. – North Greenville came back from a 2-1 deficit on Tuesday night to down Limestone College 3-2 (26-24, 15-25, 19-25, 25-14, 20-18) in a five set thriller.
The Crusaders took the opening set in extra points to put the Saints in an early 1-0 hole. NGU’s offense sparked the early lead; hitting .324 as a team with 15-kills and just four errors while the defense came up with six assisted blocks to keep the Limestone attack at bay. Limestone recovered quickly and used four defensive blocks to even the score with a 10-point win in set two.
Limestone went up 2-1 on the Crusaders with another solid set as NGU’s offense struggled for the second consecutive set. The Crusaders finished with just 12-kills on 35-attempts in the third while also committing six errors. The Crusaders had just 19-kills with 12-errors combined in the second and third sets.
North Greenville rebounded in a huge way in the fourth set though, putting the struggles of the previous two in the rear-view. The set was tight in the early points, as the saints gained a 9-8 lead, but North Greenville eventually evened the score at 9-9. NGU would receive some help on an attack error to take a 10-9 lead, but a service ace from Aaron Campbell would spark a huge run for the Crusaders.
Kyle Brandt would knock down two kills with assists from Alexander Schinzing while Matthew McManaway would add another, give NGU a 14-9 lead. The five consecutive points for NGU was part of a 13-3 run which gave North Greenville a 21-12 advantage. The Crusaders used their best offensive set of the night to even the score, accounting for 11-kills and just two errors.
The fifth set would be the most thrilling of the night as neither team wanted to give any ground. The Crusaders were in drivers seat late but the Saints grabbed the upper hand as they took an 18-17 lead. North Greenville seemed to have the momentum though, as Kyle Brandt tied the game at 18 with a kill. Brandt’s kill was aided by a Limestone error on the next serve, giving NGU a 19-18 lead. The final blow would come on the next serve as Aaron Campbell pounded a mishandled service return to the ground on the limestone side of the net, handing the Saints their first conference loss of the season.
Campbell finished the night as the game’s top scorer with 20-kills for NGU. Grayson Lawrence added 11-kills while Matthew McManaway had nine. Schinzing finished with 47-assists. Defensively, the Crusaders were led by Dustin King who had 13-digs and McManaway who had six assisted blocks.
North Greenville is now 3-1 in Conference Carolinas play and tied for second place. The Crusaders will step out of conference on February 4th to take on Coker at 3pm.