Friday, September 6, 2013

Tigerville, S.C.—The 2012 volleyball season was one for the books. The Crusaders made their first appearance in the Conference Carolinas playoffs and ripped of five straight wins to end the regular season, while also winning eight of their last ten contests.

Coach Greg Mosely only lost one senior to graduation last season, but his 2013 squad has an all new look, boasting just two upperclassmen in senior Madison Allen and junior Elizabeth James.

“Madison and Elizabeth have committed to our program and done the things necessary for our team to be successful,” said Mosely after being asked about his two upperclassmen. “Madison will be my first four year graduate that I recruited in my first year as coach.  I expect both to lead in a way that is consistent with values and work ethic we have established.”

James will enter the 2013 season as the starting setter for the Crusaders, filling the void left by Abigail Frame who graduated as North Greenville’s all time assists leader. James should see her role increase during the 2013 season after used sparingly in 2012. The then sophomore played in just 53 sets, racking up 57 assists, two kills, and 10 aces from the service line.

Madison Allen comes into the 2013 season as the Crusaders’ most experienced player. The senior played in a 104 games last season, setting a career high. In her 104 sets, Allen posted 181 digs and served up 13 aces.

The 2013 version of the Crusaders may lack upperclassmen, but certainly not experience. Mosely’s squad returns five sophomores that saw significant playing time during the 2012 playoff season. Codiann Amis, Megan Steading, Yomi Adeyeye, Taylor Dupes, and Gabby Sehres return to the floor for the Crusaders, each playing in at least 30 matches last season, with the exception of Sehres and Amis who both fought off injuries in 2012.

Adeyeye enters the season as NGU’s biggest offensive threat, pounding out 249 kills last season, third best on the team. Yomi Adeyeye will also provide a defensive presence at the net for the Crusaders. She returns as one of just two players with at least 30 blocks from last season, the other being Gabby Sehres. Sehres returns this season as NGU’s leading blocker with 36 during the 2012 season.

The Crusaders will have a couple viable options at the libero position with returners Codiann Amis and Megan Steading. Steading’s 353 digs in 2012 earned her a spot as the sixth best defender in Conference Carolinas, statistically, and second most on the NGU squad. Steading however will enter the 2013 season as a defensive specialist for the Crusaders. Amis was also solid on the back line, post 209 digs of her own.

Rounding out the sophomores Taylor Dupes played mostly defense during 2012, helping the Crusaders with 196 digs and three block assists. Offensively she accounted for seven kills at the net, and 10 aces at the service line. Dupes played in 100 of 120 games for the Crusaders last season and will look to play a bigger role in 2013.

“Due to the large number of sophomores and freshmen on the team this year, we will depend quite a bit on our youth. Experience is something you can’t teach. We will make mistakes throughout the season but I believe the team will grow up quickly. There are several of the girls who can play a big role, but only time will tell who, or how many will step up and play big for us this season.”

The Crusaders enter the 2013 season looking at one of the more challenging schedules in the team’s history. The Crusaders open the 2013 season on September 6th with the third annual Crusader Invitational. “You can expect more exciting play from these young ladies as we continue to play a high energy fast paced style of play.”