The second set played out similarly, with the Brasels and Karrigan Smith keeping South Central close. A faulty return by Nuxoll cut the lead to 16-14.
But again, the Bulldogs responded, getting two big kills each by Nuxoll and Lauren Wendt to push the score to 20-15 and a Cougar timeout. It wouldn't matter, as the Cougars had four returns go out on bounds and a line violation to end the match.
"We did have some errors, we know that," Brimberry said. "We've got to get passing. If we're not passing, we're not going to be setting and hitting.
The Bulldog offense found its rhythm late and pounced on any opportunity given to them by the Cougars.
"Our serving picked up toward the end of the games, we started serving a little more aggressively at their players," Bailey said. "When you give us free balls, we're going to do something with it."
Senior setter Haylee Mathis had 17 assists, two kills and two digs for St. Anthony. Wendt and Maggie Mumm each had five kills to lead the team, and Nuxoll led the team with seven digs.
South Central's Maria Brasel had two kills and two assists, while Diedra Schall had four points and four assists and Lincoln Brasel added two kills.
The Cougars (0-1, 0-1) faces St. Elmo/Brownstown next Thursday on the road.
St. Anthony moves to 1-0 on the season and 1-0 in the NTC. They return to action Tuesday, heading across town to face Effingham on the road.
South Central 18 16
St. Anthony 25 25
South Central: Schaal (4 points, 4 assists); M. Brasel (3 points, 2 kills, 2 assists); Smith (2 points, 1 kill); L. Brasel (1 point, 2 kills); Chapman (1 point, 2 kills, 1 assist, 1 block); Drum (2 points); Young (2 points)
St. Anthony: Wortman (3 digs); Mathis (17 assists, 2 digs, 2 kills); Wendt (5 kills); Schmidt (2 kills, 1 assist); Braunecker (1 kill, 2 digs); Mumm (1 ace, 5 kills, 2 digs); Nuxoll (2 aces, 4 kills, 7 digs); Schultz (1 ace, 4 digs)