Tigerville, S.C.—The North Greenville volleyball team fell to 7-8 on the season, and 1-2 in league play on Friday night after dropping a tough decision to Conference Carolinas front-runner Queens University of Charlotte 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-17).
The Crusaders returned home to Hayes Gymnasium for the first time since early September on Friday night, looking to hand the Royals their first conference loss of the season.
Set one remained close as the teams battled for the early set advantage. Queens jumped out to a quick 5-3 lead early, but 3 straight points by the Crusaders gave NGU a 6-5 advantage. The Crusaders compounded their lead to 11-9 but an athletic Royals squad put together a 14-5 run to win set one.
The Royals once again took a quick lead before the Crusaders put together a 4-0 run to take a 4-1 advantage, setting the tone for set two. The Crusaders rode a wave of momentum and cruised to a 12-9 when a Megan Evans Block forced the Royals to take a timeout.
The Royals came out strong after the one-minute break, scoring 3 straight points to tie the game at 12. Queens then took a 14-13 lead, but a service error by the Royals evened the score at 14. After gaining a 15-14 advantage, a second unforced service error by the Royals once again tied the game (15-15). One serve later, the Crusaders snatched the lead on a Yomi Adeyeye block that fell between Queens defenders.
The two teams would battle for the remainder of the set, no team gaining an advantage greater than 3 points. The final tie of the game came at 22 when NGU freshman Samantha Del Toro’s kill tied the game. Queens would then close the set with a 3-0 run to go up two sets to zero.
Queen once again got off to a quick start in the third set, taking 10-7 lead, forcing the Crusaders to take a quick timeout. The Crusaders stayed close, but the Royals once again strung together a strong run to take a 16-11 lead. The Crusaders however refused to go away, scoring the next two points to pull to within 3 (16-13). A 9-4 run by the Royals however would put the match away, improving queens to 8-4 overall and 4-0 in league play.
Pacing the Crusaders on offense was Rebekah Mayes who had a game high 15 kills. Mayes also had 8 digs defensively while also registering the teams only serving ace. Also in the double digit scoring column for NGU was Samantha Del Toro, who added 10. Abigail Frame was a solid centerpiece for NGU’s offense with 22 assists and 6 digs. Megan Steading led the Crusaders with 9 digs on defense.
For Queens, Keri Kemp and Elizabeth Bialkowski both had a team best 11 kills. The Royals racked up 8 serving aces in the 3 set match, paced by Taylor Riley who had 3. McKenzie Martin quarterbacked the Queens offense serving up a game high 37 assists.
For quotes and reaction from tonight’s game, be sure to check out the post game interviews with Coach Greg Mosely and senior captain Abigail Frame.