Mount Olive, N.C.—The North Greenville volleyball team dropped its 8th consecution match on Friday night, losing a 3-2 (24-26, 19-25, 25-13, 25-20, 9-15) thriller on the road at Mount Olive College in the Crusaders’ first Conference Carolinas match of the season.
North Greenville struggled in the early going, and looked to making an early exit. The Trojans jumped out to a 2-0 lead after taking the first set 26-24. MOC would go on to take a 2-0 set lead after a second straight win, with a 25-19 edge to take the second frame. The first set remained close throughout, as neither team was able to gain a comfortable advantage. NGU led 19-16 late in the frame, but the Trojans battled back to take the lead 22-20. The Crusaders would stay close but were unable to pull ahead as the Trojans took the early advantage.
Mount Olive jumped out to a quick lead in game two but quickly surrendered it as NGU surged back to tie the game at 7-7. The Trojans would once again jump out to a significant lead before seeing it erased for a second time. The Crusaders closed a six point gape to tie the game 17, but the Trojans had one more run in them, ending the frame on an 8-2 run to take a 2-0 set lead over North Greenville.
The Crusaders would quickly put all thoughts of a MOC sweep out their minds in set three with an impressive 25-13 triumph. NGU would jump to an early 9-3 lead, never looking back. The Crusaders outhit the Trojans 12-7 in the third set, led by Rachel Burts who pounded out three kills during the set. Elizabeth James finished the set off with her only kill of the frame, pulling NGU to within one set of the Trojans.
The Crusaders would carry the momentum into the fourth set, tying the score at 2-2, to force a fifth set. The two teams jockied for position during the fourth set, trading the lead six times before NGU finally grabbed the advantage for good. A quick 6-3 surge would give NGU a 21-16 advantage and a comfortable lead en route to a 25-20 set victory. The Trojans outhit the Crusaders 12-10 during the fourth set, but 10 attack errors including two that gave North Greenville the final two points were the difference in set.
The Trojans would jump out to an early advantage in the fifth set, taking a 7-2 advantage over the Crusaders. True to form, North Greenville would fight back and pull to within three (11-8) of Mount Olive, but could only muster one more point, while helping the Trojans with three attack errors in the final four points, giving the Trojans the 15-9 decision.
Junior Elizabeth James led the Crusaders with 13 kills while freshmen Rachel Burts had her best game in an NGU uniform with 12 kills of her own. Yomi Adeyeye switched roles for NGU picking up a season high 16 kills, while Gabby Sehres had a team high four block assists.
The Crusaders fell to 1-9 on the season overall, and 0-1 in league play. North Greenville will continue its busy weekend on Saturday at Barton College. NGU and the Bulldogs will square off at 2pm in Wilson, N.C.