Tuskegee, Alabama—North Greenville women’s volleyball opened up the 2016-season with a pair of wins on Friday, blanking both Tuskegee (25-17/25-10/25-19) and Talladega College (25-7/25-16/25-20) in straight sets.
Samantha Hebb led NGU in scoring during the first game of the day, an 8am contest with the hosting Tigers of Tuskegee. Hebb pounded out 12-kills on 19-attempts. Brittany Tepedino and Kenzie Pierce both had six-kills in game one. Tepdino led all scorers with a .556 hitting percentage.
Crusaders added some offense from the service line as well, dishing out seven aces led by Eaden Shockley and Taylor Waters who both had two. Senior Ashlyn Wilkinson led North Greenville with 15-digs in game one from her libero spot.
NGU trailed briefly in the opening set but bounced back to take a 4-3 advantage on a Taylor Waters service ace. One more ace from Waters would extend NGU’s lead to two points, a lead which would eventually balloon to five. A kill from Hebb would put the Tigers away and give NGU the 1-0 set advantage.
The Crusaders wasted no time jumping on Tuskegee in game two, sprinting out to a 15-5 lead. Three consecutive kills from Haley Hester would end the second frame and give NGU the 2-0 lead. The third set would be the closest of the day as the Tigers looked to extend the match to a fourth set. The Crusaders never trailed but Tuskegee pulled to within one (17-16). The Crusaders would answer with seven unanswered points though with kills from Annmarie Johnston and Tepedino to extend the cushion to five (24-16).
The Tigers tacked on three points at the end of the match, using a pair of attack errors from NGU but the Tigers would return the favor with an error on their ensuing offensive possession, handing NGU the match point.
Game Two: North Greenville vs. Talladega
The Crusaders improved to 2-0 on the season after a game two win vs. Talladega College to wrap up Friday’s play. Kenzie Pierce led North Greenville offensively in game two with eight kills on 13-kills. Samantha Hebb had another solid game with seven kills of her own while Haley Hester matched with seven kills of her own.
NGU’s service game was once again strong, handing out 10-aces with three different players having at least two. Madison Pogue led NGU’s backline with nine-digs while Pierce and Emma Pepper had a block assist. Pogue also led the Crusaders with 26- assists.
The Crusaders made easy work of the Tigers in the first set, holding the Tornadoes to just seven points. North Greenville snapped off five straight points to end the set, using two kills from Hebb and two service aces from Eaden Shockley to move to 1-0 on the set list.
NGU would claim a hard fought victory in set two as Annmarie Johnston put the exclamation point on a 25-16 victory for the Crusaders. Hayley Hester set up the set point with consecutive service aces to make the score 23-16. NGU would receive some help with an awarded point from the officials.
The Tornadoes would take their biggest lead of the day in the third set as they led 10-6 over North Greenville. The Crusaders pulled to within one of Talladega (10-11) An awarded point would even the score at 11-11 before Samantha Hebb would give NGU its first lead of the game with a kill and assist from Madison Pogue.
The kill from Hebb would spark a nine-point run for North Greenville, giving the Crusaders a 20-11 advantage. Sommer Cagle would add a kill to give NGU a 23-17 lead while a pair of errors would once again seal the victory for the Crusaders as they earned a 25-20 win and a 2-0 record to start the season.
North Greenville will wrap up its weekend in Alabama Saturday morning with a pair of matches against Miles and St. Andrews at 8am and 10am.