TIGERVILLE, S.C. – Freshman middle hitter Kenzie Schmaltz blasted a career-high 16 kills, but the Converse College (1-8, 0-1 CC) volleyball team opened the Conference Carolinas portion of its schedule with a tough 3-1 loss at North Greenville (4-4, 1-0 CC) on Tuesday evening. The Valkyries fell by the final set scores of 15-25, 25-19, 19-25, and 15-25.
North Greenville jumped out to a quick 9-4 lead in the opening frame, but three straight from Converse trimmed the Valkyrie deficit to two points (9-7). However, an 11-5 burst put NGU in control late into the set. The gap was too wide to overcome as Converse dropped set one by the final of 25-15.
The Valkyries were the aggressors in set two, punching their way to a comfortable 10-3 advantage behind a steady attack game. A mini 3-0 spurt by the Crusaders was outdone by a 6-2 scoring run by Converse, capped off by a kill from Jordan Mrkvicka, pushing the lead to its biggest of the frame (16-8).
North Greenville did its best to get back into the set, reeling off five straight to pull within three points (16-13), but a four of the next five eight of the next 12 allowed Converse its biggest lead at 24-19. NGU took two in a row, but only prolonged the inevitable, eventually falling to the Purple and Gold 25-19, leaving the match knotted at 1-1.
After swapping the first four points of set three, North Greenville seized control of the frame with a 10-3 run, pushing out to a 12-5 lead. Converse was able to cut the deficit to five (18-13), but that was as close as the score would get as Converse fell behind 2-1 in the match with a 25-19 set defeat.
Set four was competitive from the start as North Greenville held onto a slim 12-10 lead halfway through. However, a crucial 7-1 run gave the Crusaders an eight-point lead (19-11) deep into the session. The Crusaders collected six of the next 10 points to take the set, 25-15, and the match, 3-1.
Alexis Pitts finished the night with seven kills, while Sydney Allen was able to collect a game-high 22 digs. Krislyn Moore was a catalyst for the offense, dishing out a season-high 19 assists. Kiara Cannon was able to stop the Crusaders at the net, tallying three blocks on the evening.
The Valkyries will return to the court on Friday, September 15, traveling to Wilson, N.C. to face the Bulldogs of Barton College. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m.