NORTH GREENVILLE WINS 7th NCCAA NATIONAL TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIP
The North Greenville University men’s tennis team defeated Palm Beach Atlantic 5-3 Thursday morning at the Mobile Copeland-Cox Tennis Center to win the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association’s National Championship.
The Crusaders won their seventh NCCAA title in the last 12 years, but their first since the year 2007.
NGU went up 2-1 following the doubles against PBA as Kesha Sedov and Guilherme Ferreira won at #2 and Marcos Souza and Hugo Ciarrocchi captured #3. Ciarrocchi won his match at #6 singles to give NGU a 3-1 lead in the match, but the Sailfish came back to tie the match at 3-3 with wins at #1 and #2 singles. Souza pulled out a win at #5 singles to get the Crusaders within one match win of the title. Luis Campos at #3 singles had lost the first set of his match and was down 2-0 in the second set when Ferreira came through with a victory in the #4 singles position to clinch the championship for North Greenville.
Timor Kamilov (JR Tashkent, Uzbekistan) was named a NCCAA All-American and Kesha Sedov (JR Moscow, Russia) was Second Team. Kamilov and Luis Santos (SR Sao Paulo, Brazil) were second team in doubles.
Elliot, who has been the architect of all seven titles for NGU, said he was proud of his players because they handled themselves well on the courts and fought through many other factors besides tough opponents in Palm Beach Atlantic and Olivet Nazarene.
“The actual temperature in Mobile was 95 degrees, and it was well over 100 on the court, so took a lot of guts and heart to pull out this championship,” Elliot said. “No one on our team would allow anyone else to stop playing hard; they held each other accountable to keep going despite the factors against them. They represented North Greenville and the state of South Carolina very well.”
“I never did have a sense that we had the championship safely tucked away,” Elliot added. “That’s a tribute to Palm Beach and Olivet. They both had great teams. Either of those two matches could have gone either way, but we’re just happy to be coming home with another title.”
North Greenville has now won four NCCAA national championships in the last calendar year, with the baseball team winning in May 2010, football in the fall 2010, and cheerleading taking the national crown in spring 2011.
Softball wins 2011 NCCAA National Championship
North Greenville University’s recent streak of athletic success continued on Saturday as the Lady Crusader softball team was crowned the 2011 NCCAA National Champions after defeating Simpson University.
After defeating Central Baptist to advance to the championship, Simpson defeated North Greenville 9-0 to force a winner-take-all final game.
Three costly errors contributed to the early loss as the Lady Red Hawks scored runs in the first, second and fourth innings while pounding out nine hits, including three doubles.
Kimberly Robertson started the game but was chased from the mound before recording an out. Robertson allowed three runs on two hits and walking one batter, only facing four batters in the first inning. Courtney Campbell came on to pitch five innings of relief, allowing six runs on nine hits and walking three batters.
At the plate, the Lady Crusaders were only able to muster four hits. Liz Pitts was a perfect 2-for-2, while Robertson and Marielena Santos each finished the game 1-for-3.
In the final game of the tournament, North Greenville was able to defeat Simpson 2-1 and claim their first ever national title.
The Lady Hawks jumped on the board early, scoring a run in the second inning after Paige Gomez drove in the team’s only run of the game with an RBI single. North Greenville quickly tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth inning after Taylor Roof led off the inning with a double to left field and was eventually brought home by a Emily Campbell RBI single.
With the scored tied 1-1, the Lady Crusaders went into the bottom of the seventh needing production in order to avoid extra innings. After Pitts flied out to center field, Santos tripled to right field. With one on and one out, Simpson pitcher Morgan Davis threw a wild pitch, allowing Santos to score the game-winning run.
Roof once again picked up the win for North Greenville, her fourth in a row. Roof pitched a complete game, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out five batters.
E. Campbell was the leader on offense for the Lady Crusaders as she finished the game 1-for-3 with an RBI. Roof was 1-for-2 with a double and a run scored, while Santos was 1-for-4 with a triple and a run scored.
“It was rough season at the start,” said assistant coach Dustin Fuls. “But when it came time, the girls stepped up when it mattered the most and we are very proud of all of them for their hard work.”
The Lady Crusaders finish the 2010-11 season with a 23-25 overall recording including a NCCAA South Regional Tournament Championship and the 2011 NCCAA National Championship.