Raleigh, N.C.—The North Greenville volleyball team dropped its first game of a three game stretch on Friday night losing to St. Augustine College 3-1 to open a three game weekend marathon.
The Lady Crusaders once again found themselves battling in close games, a theme for the 2011 season. The first set of the night took 26 points to decide as the Falcons took the 26-24 decision. NGU took an early 3-0 lead in the first set, and carried the lead for most of the match. The Lady Crusaders led by as many as seven points in the first set. The Falcons eventually pulled to within two of NGU who led 24-22. Facing set point, St. Augustine banged out three kills and a service ace to take the first set win (26-24).
The Lady Crusaders looked to the second set to get their first win of the night but a slow start looked to doom NGU. But after trailing early, the Ladt Crusaders fought back to take a 16-12 lead just past the halfway point of set two. A strong offensive attack and solid defense would put NGU over the top on the way to a 25-19 set two win.
With the match tied at one game apiece, the Lady Crusaders and Falcons headed into set three looking to take control of the match and a move to 2-1. North Greenville once again jumped out to an early lead in the third set, and led by as many as four. The Lady Crusaders controlled for much of the set but the Falcons stayed close. And took their first lead at 20-19. St. Facing set point, the Lady Crusaders rallied to tie the game at 24 on a kill by Kaitlyn Pierce. The Falcons would take their second lead of the night at 26-25 but North Greenville would tie the score again at 26, however the Lady Crusaders would run out of answers down the stretch as the Falcons soared to a 31-27 set three win and a 2-1 advantage.
North Greenville entered the fourth set looking to even the set scores at 2-2. The Lady Crusaders looked to start quickly and they did just that taking a very quick 1-0 lead. SAC answered quickly and tied the game at 1-1 on the way to a 2-1 advantage for the Falcons. The Lady Crusaders and Falcons traded blows and the first five points, which saw four ties, but the Lady Crusaders were unable pull ahead. A strong offensive push by the Falcons though would put St. Augustine up 10-5. SAC would go on to take a 25-21 win.
The loss to the Falcons drops NGU to 13-16 on the season, with five games remaining. The Lady Crusaders will continue their busy weekend tomorrow in a 7 p.m. matchup with Barton College. The Lady Crusaders will wrap up their weekend Saturday at Mount Olive.