Tigerville, S.C.—Yomi Adeyeye belted out 18 kills to lead all scorers, and Kelsey Shannon dished out a season high seven service aces, but it was not enough as NGU fell to the Converse College Valkyries 3-1 on Friday night in Hayes Gymnasium.
The first set was closely contested until the latter half of the frame. NGU began to pull away from Converse, taking a 17-12 lead, forcing a Valkyrie timeout. NGU took the first point out of the quick intermission to take an 18-12 lead. The two squads then traded points before six consecutive points from Converse evened the score at 19, this time forcing the Crusaders to call a timeout. NGU would regain composure and take the first two scores out of the timeout to take a 21-19 lead, but the Valkyries would answer again with two of their own to even the tally. Converse would then comeback with another scoring streak of its own, outscoring NGU 7-1 in route to a 25-22 set win.
The Crusaders found themselves down again in set two as the Valkyries hung on tightly to a one point lead at 15-14, midway through the second set. North Greenville called a timeout to regroup, and scored the next two points to take a 16-15 lead. The Crusaders would extend their lead to 22-19, but Converse would once again fight back to even, and eventually take a 23-22 lead on an NGU attack error. NGU would call a timeout once again, but two straight points from the Valkyries would give Converse a second 25-22 and a 2-0 lead.
Set three was also closely contested throughout, as neither team was able to gather a comfortable advantage. Converse would even its biggest lead of the game at two, with a 16-14 advantage later in the match until North Greenville claimed a 17-16 advantage with three straight points. The Crusaders would equal its biggest advantage of the game at 24-20, a score which seemed to be a comfortable lead, but the Valkyries would once again fight back, and pull to within two, at 24-22. The Crusaders would finally pull through however, and a 25-22 win to force a game four.
Set four would be the most evenly matched of the night as neither team was able to gain much of an advantage, trading points for a majority of the frame. North Greenville would trail by one late, but back to back points would earn the Crusaders a late 21-20 lead. True to form, the Valkyries would respond to NGU’s lead with a run of their own scoring four of the next six points to take a 24-23 lead, as NGU looked to advance the match to a fifth and decisive set. Converse spoiled the plans of NGU however, taking the final point out of a timeout to win the game 25-23, and a 3-1 set win.
Defensively Hannah Lewis led the Crusaders with 18 digs, and Elizabeth James handed out 37 assists. North Greenville earned 45 kills as a team Friday night, hitting at a .235 clip while Converse was just slightly under with a hitting percentage of .234. The Crusaders will be back in action tomorrow afternoon with two games, starting with Limestone College at 1pm. The Crusaders will then take on Winston Salem State at 5pm.