Tigerville, S.C.—The North Greenville volleyball team opened 2013 in exciting fashion Friday night rallying from two sets down to take a 3-2 decision over the Falcons of Saint Augustine University in the opening day of the Crusader Invitational Volleyball Tournament.
The young Crusader squad struggled in the opening set, falling 25-17. The Falcons took a commanding 21-14 lead late in the opening frame, and would hold on to take a 1-0 set lead over North Greenville. Saint Augustine rode the momentum of an early 5-0 lead to the set one win, and looked to carry that momentum into set two. The Falcons would do just that jumping ahead early on the Crusaders with a 10-5 advantage. NGU responded and would go on to tie the game at 15-15, setting up a close finish. The Crusaders would hold close to an athletic Falcons squad, but a 3-1 run at the end of the game would give SAU a 25-22 win and a commanding 2-0 set lead. The 25-22 loss would be the last time the Crusaders would trail.
Coach Greg Mosely would rally his team heading into the third set of the night as the Crusaders jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead. An experienced Falcons team continued to fight back, and would pull to within two (14-12) before the Crusaders went on an 11-7 run to close out the set, and give NGU its first set win of the season. Set four was also closely contested but the Crusaders remained in control en route to a 25-21 win, forcing a decisive fifth game.
The final set of the evening was also a closely contested bout. North Greenville would gain the upper hand snapping off a 4-0 run to take a 9-5 lead in the first to 15 final set. True to form, the Falcons would battle back to tie the game at 12-12, leading to a tense final three points. NGU never panicked however, and would pull ahead 14-12 before freshmen Haley Hester ended the night with a match point solo block.
NGU’s Ashlyn Wilkinson opened her college career in style on Friday night, dishing out 42 assists with three serving aces and 13 digs to lead the Crusaders in all three categories. Offensively, Yomi Adeyeye led NGU with 16 kills at the net junior Elizabeth James had 10. The Crusaders will wrap up tournament play tomorrow with games at 12 (vs. Lander University) and 4 (vs. Brevard College).