Los Angeles, Calif. (WSPA/NGU) – The North Greenville Crusaders moved on in the NCAA National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championship Tournament by stunning the Tigers of Princeton University with a 3-0 sweep at Pauley Pavilion Sunday.

The victory made history not just for North Greenville but also for the Conference Carolinas as the win is the first tournament victory of any Conference Carolinas program. Set one was tightly-contested until an 8-1 run late in the set by the Crusaders proved to be enough to stay in front as NGU would take the set 25-21.A service ace by Sergio Carrillo would close out the set. North Greenville would lead early on in set two, but Princeton would fight back to even things back out. Trailing 14-13, NGU would take over the set, putting together a 10-2 run to lead 23-16.

The two teams would alternate points to close things out, with the Crusaders scoring final point by way of a kill by Diego Rosich to take the set 25-18. Set three was controlled early on by the Tigers, allowing them to jump out to a 9-4 lead. After a 4-1 run by NGU, Princeton would take back the momentum to eventually lead 16-9. With a fourth set looking like a guarantee, the Crusaders had other plans as an 8-1 run would tie the set up at 19-19. Tied at 25-25, the set would turn into a marathon as both teams faced multiple set points. Down 37-36, NGU would score two in a row to have the advantage.

A service error tied the score one last time, but a service error followed by an attack error by Princeton would finally give North Greenville the two point lead to complete the stunner to move on.

Dr. Fred Battenfield expressed his thoughts in the postgame press conference. 

“Never in a million years. Most people thought North Greenville – what? Who are these guys? Do they belong here? I had faith in these guys. Sergio [Carrillo] was always saying, ‘Do what we do. Do what we do.’ And we just saw it tonight. We did the things we needed to do. We got down a little bit, but we just kept plugging away. Kept plugging away. That’s just one of the most important things. That was history. I’ve been saying this all season long. We’ve never won a conference championship – took care of that. Never won a first round in the NCAA Tournament – took care of that. Second round is going to be a little more difficult, but I told other people, it’s just volleyball. It’s just volleyball. Bump, set, spike. My guys are good passers. Princeton – they put pressure on us. But, we were able to respond and just get in the system. Gregory Torres had a great game tonight. What a thrill. For me, most of you know I’m retiring after this tournament. Well, we get to go two more days in California. I like that! This is beautiful weather out here; it’s great.”

Results

  • Score: NGU 3 / PU 0
  • Location: Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles, CA
  • Records: NGU 21-5 / PU 15-13

Individual

  • Gregory Torres led NGU with nineteen kills. He also recorded five digs and a block assist.
  • Sergio Carrillo provided thirty-seven assists, five digs, four block assists, and three service aces.
  • Michael de la Cruz posted a .529 attack percentage with ten kills and just one error. He also put up three service aces, two block assists, and a dig.

Upcoming

  • NGU will remain in Los Angeles to face the University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors on Tuesday, May 3rd.