Saturday, September 15, 2012

Banner Elk, N.C.—The North Greenville volleyball team wrapped up a busy weekend on Saturday afternoon splitting with USC Aiken and Lees-McRae. The Crusaders dropped the first game of the day to USC Aiken 3-1, but bounced back to win the second match against Lees-McRae 3-1 in Conference Carolinas play.

Match One: NGU-0 University of South Carolina Aiken-3 (25-11, 25-21, 25-16) (Box Score)

In game one, the Crusaders were led by Rebekah Mayes, who pounded out 11 kills while also registering 12 digs on defense to lead the team in that category. Abigail Frame also had a double double for the Crusaders with 25 assists and 11 digs.

In set one, the Pacers jumped out to an early 10-4 lead on NGU to setting the tone for the set. USC Aiken secured the set one win with 3 straight serving aces making the final 25-11.

Set two of the day was more competitive as the Crusaders gained an early 10-6 lead before the pacers scored five unanswered to even the scoreboard. After the score was deadlocked at 14, the Pacers took over with 3 straight points to take an 18-15 lead. USC Aiken would go on to win the set 25-21 to take a 2-0 advantage.

The Pacers would go to take an early lead on the Crusaders in set three before cruising to a 25-16 win. USC Aiken's Leah Rodgers tied for the match-high with 10 kills. Alex Petock paced USC Aiken with 22 assists, while Shannon Byers led the Pacers with 13 digs.

Match Two: NGU-3 Less-McRae-1 (25-22, 25-22, 15-25, 25-22)

In match two, the Crusaders faced off with Conference foe Less-McRae College, which won both regular season matchups between the two clubs in 2011.

Set one had three ties before either team reached ten. The Crusaders trailed for most of the match, their biggest deficit being five, when the Bobcats led 18-15. The Crusaders continued to battle however, and eventually tied the game at 19. The Crusaders then outscored LMC 6-3 en route to the 25-22 come from behind win in set 1.

The roles were flopped in set two, as the Crusaders jumped out to a quick 10-4 lead, before the Bobcats evened the tally at 12. Lees-McRae eventually overtook the Crusaders, going on a 6-3 scoring run to take a 20-19 advantage. Not to be outdone, the Crusaders put together a run of their own. On the heels of a LMC service error and a attack error, the Crusaders used kills from Mayes and Kendra Meek to outscore the Bobcats 6-2, to take a 25-22 set two win.

The Crusaders looked to put a “W” in the win column in the third set, but LMC quickly put an end to any possible drama. The Bobcats took an early 9-5 lead on NGU. The Bobcats took advantage of 7 NGU attack errors as they sprinted out to a 16-10 lead. LMC would go on take the set 25-15, cutting in to NGU’s 2-0 set lead.

The Crusaders never trailed in set three, a set, which was closely contested, but also contained no ties. NGU went up early, and LMC hung close, but the Crusaders proved too strong. The Crusader offense pounded out 12 kills in the set and committed just 3 errors while the Bobcats committed 9. For the game, the Crusaders were led by freshman Samanth Del Toro who registered 12 kills and 5 block assists. Abigail Frame was also solid in the middle with 31 assists and 6 block assists.

The win over LMC improved the Crusaders to 1-1 in league. NGU is now 6-7 on the season with a match against Winston Salem on the horizon. The Crusaders will return home for the first time in two weeks on September 21st with a match against Queens University of Charlotte.