Central, SC – Southern Wesleyan fell to the North Greenville Crusaders in an intense five set battle on Saturday afternoon in a 3-2 final.
The Warriors recorded 51 kills in the loss. Olivia Johnson led the team with 16 kills. She was followed by Katie Anderson with 14 kills and Courtney Price with 10 kills. Annika Jones delivered 41 of the 51 assists in the loss. Southern Wesleyan put down 10 aces with Price, Anderson and Annika Jones each having three. The Warriors had 101 digs in the loss. Anna Martin led the team with 26 digs. The Warriors had 12 blocks with Olivia Johnson leading the team with five.
Final: North Greenville 3, Southern Wesleyan 2
Records: Southern Wesleyan (5-10 / 8-17) North Greenville (10-5 / 18-11)
Coach Reininga says…
"I am very proud of the battle today! We will look to make a tournament run."
How It Happened
Southern Wesleyan jumped out early in the first set of the evening with three aces and a kill by Katie Anderson to put them on top 4-0 before a kill by Katie McManaway put the Crusaders on the board. The Warriors continued to pressure as kills by Oliva Johnson put them on top 7-1. Kills by Johnson, Courtney Price and Davis Hendricks allowed the Warriors to take an 11-2 point advantage over North Greenville. The Crusaders countered with an ace by Annie Beisecker and kill by Emma Pepper. However, Southern Wesleyan continued to push onward with kills by Katie Anderson and Courtney Price to give them a 17-5 point lead. The Warriors continued to lengthen the distance as they won the first set 25-12.
The Crusaders attacked first in the second set of the afternoon as an ace by Sara Miller put them on top 1-0. Southern Wesleyan countered with an ace by Anna Martin and kill by Olivia Johnson to tie the set 3-3. The Warriors pushed ahead to take the lead on a kill by Katie Anderson, but an ace by Whitley Kahler allowed the Crusaders to tie it up 10-10. Southern Wesleyan would not go down quietly as kills by Olivia Johnson allowed them to take a 17-12 point lead. North Greenville fought back with kills by Emma Pepper to come to 20-22 behind Southern Wesleyan. An ace by Sara Miller allowed the Crusaders to win the second set 25-23.
The Warriors took the lead in the third set on a kill by Olivia Johnson to put them on top 2-0. However kills by Annie Beisecker and Katie McManaway allowed North Greenville to tie it 2-2. Southern Wesleyan continued to pressure with kills by Courtney Price to come to 7-6 behind North Greenville. They continued to fight back as a kill by Katie Anderson gave them an 11-8 point advantage over the Crusaders. The Warriors lengthened their lead with kills by Annika Jones, Courtney Price and Anderson to take a 15-10 point lead. North Greenville countered to tie it up 23-23 on a service ace by Whitley Kahler, but kills by Katie Anderson and Sarah Stone allowed the Warriors to win the third set 25-23.
North Greenville took the first point of the fourth set, but a kill by Katie Anderson allowed the Warriors to tie the set 1-1. Kills by Davis Hendricks and Annika Jones allowed the Warriors to push ahead to a 7-5 point lead over the Crusaders. North Greenville countered with kills by Emma Pepper, Paige Beisecker and Katie McManaway to take a 10-9 lead over Southern Wesleyan. However, the Warriors would not go down lightly as Sarah Stone put down a kill to tie the set 12-12. Attack errors by the Crusaders and a kill by Oliva Johnson gave Southern Wesleyan a three point lead, but an ace by Katherine McClure and kill by Kasie Thomas gave North Greenville a 17-16 point lead. The Crusaders and Warriors continued to battle it out with both teams exchanging the lead, but North Greenville won the fourth set 30-28.
The Crusaders took the first point of the fifth and final set on a kill by Emma Pepper, but Southern Wesleyan countered with an ace by Annika Jones to come to take a 3-2 point lead. However, North Greenville fought back to tie the fifth set 4-4 on a kill by Annie Beisecker. A kill by Olivia Johnson allowed the Warriors to regain a 5-4 point lead, but the Crusaders fought back to take a 7-6 point lead on a kill by Annie Beisecker. The Warriors continued to pressure, but, despite a kill by Katie Anderson, North Greenville won the final set 15-13.
Southern Wesleyan will advance to the Conference Carolinas Championship Tournament quarterfinals. The Warriors will take on the Belmont Abbey Crusaders in Belmont, NC on November 6 at 6:30 p.m.