Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Charlotte, N.C.—The North Greenville volleyball team saw its season end on Wednesday night as the Crusaders fell to the Queens Royals 3-1 (26-22, 22-25, 22-25, 14-25) in the semifinals of the Conference Carolinas Tournament.

The Crusaders came out strong in set one, and after trading points, pulled ahead and took control at 8-5. North Greenville’s biggest lead of the game came when Rebekah Mayes’ kill landed between defenders giving NGU a 15-10 advantage. North Greenville held the advantage until late in the match when Queens put together a three-point surge that gave the Royals a 24-23 lead. An arrant serve tied the match at 24 for NGU. Yomi Adeyeye followed the service error up with two straight kills to give the Crusaders a set one win.

Set two was closely contested as well, as both teams opened the frame matching point for point. The Crusaders looked poised to pull ahead comfortably for a second straight set, taking a 12-9 lead. With the game tied 16-16 the Royals were able to finally pull away on a Lindsey Everhart kill followed by a block by Keri Kemp. The Royals maintained a lead for the rest of the match, with Kemp ending it with a kill to tie the set score at one a piece.

The Royals got off to a quick start in the third set taking a 12-5 advantage over NGU. Queens led by as many as seven (20-13) in the third frame, but the Crusaders regrouped, and out of a timeout stormed back to pull to within three of the top seeded Royals. Rebekah Mayes collected an ace during the comeback while Samantha Del Toro snapped off one of her 10 kills. The Royals responded with three straight kills of their own to take the set and a 2-1 lead.

The fourth frame mirrored the starts from the first two sets of the night, as the teams traded points deadlocking the tally at eight early on. Queens would capitalize on two straight kills, which opened a 7-2 run, giving the Royals a comfortable 16-10 cushion. The Royals would go on to take the match in a comfortable fashion 25-14 setting them up for a showdown with neighboring Belmont Abbey in Saturday’s Conference Carolinas Tournament finals.

Rebekah Mayes finished the night leading the Crusaders with 14 kills. Mayes finished the season as the leader with 417 kills to lead the team. Senior Abigail Frame, who finished her career at NGU as the all time leading setter, registered a double-double in her final game in red and black, with 37 assists and 20 digs, leading the teams in both categories. Freshman Megan Steading also had double digit digs with 10 while Madison Allen led the Crusaders with two service aces.North Greenville finished the season with a 19-16 record overall and a 9-8 conference record.