Tigerville, S.C.—The North Greenville Crusaders dropped a 3-0 (22-25, 23-25, 20-25) decision to Lander University on Tuesday night, in a rematch of the September showdown between the two squads.
The Crusaders fed off of the energy of the croud in the first set and jumped out to a quick 6-3 advantage. The Bearcats would rebound from a slow start however and scored the next five points to take an 8-6 lead. Later in the match, a Samantha Del Toro kill and a Bearcat attack error would give the Crusaders a 14-12 lead, forcing Lander to take a timeout.
The Bearcats scored immediately out of the timeout, to pull to within one. Two points later the Bearcats grabbed a 15-14 advantage. The Crusaders final lead of the game came late in the match when Del Toro put away a Frame set to give the Crusaders a 21-20 lead. A point earlier, Rebekah Mayes evened the tally at 20 for NGU with a klll of her own. Lander would strike next scoring on 3 straight attempts to give them a 23-21 lead. The Bearcats would go on to score two of the next 3 points to give them a 25-22 set win.
The Crusaders once again trailed early in the second set, but a kill and consecutive Del Toro service aces gave the Crusaders a 6-5 lead. Del Toro was the Crusaders leading offensive threat pounding out 17 kills on just 36 attempts. On defense the Crusaders had five players with double digit kills. Rebekah Mayes led NGU with 17 digs to go along with her 10 kills. Megan Steading and Abigail Frame had 15 digs apiece while Taylor Dupes and Kendra Meek had 12 each. Del Toro also led all servers with 3 aces.
The Bearcats would go on to take a 16-11 lead, holding on to their five point advantage until the 24-20 mark. Facing set point, the Crusaders would rattle of 3 straight points to pull to within one (24-23). The Bearcats would end the suspense on the next serve with a kill to give them the 25-23 set two win.
The Bearcats were lead by Kaitlyn Harrison who chalked up 15 kills. Madison Kubal led Lander with 15 digs defensively while Jessica Register led all setters with 40. The Bearcats hit .267 as a team while the Crusaders hit just .173.
The Crusaders once again found themselves in an early hole in set three as the Bearcats sprinted out to a 6-4 advantage. Lander would lead by as many as 7 (18-11) but the Crusaders refused to go quietly. NGU cut the Lander lead to just four (24-20) but the Bearcats would come out on top on the next kill to give them a 3-0 match win.
For further coverage on Tuesday’s game with Lander check out the post game interview with head coach Greg Mosely on the North Greenville Sports Network.