BELMONT, N.C. -- Liam Maxwell posted 15 kills and served three aces, but it was not enough as Belmont Abbey dropped a close non-conference volleyball match 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 29-27) to Cal Baptist Friday night at the Wheeler Center. Maxwell's kill total marked the seventh time this year he has topped double figures and was two shy of his season high.
Belmont Abbey (4-16) opened the match with a 4-0 lead and later led 9-5 when the Lancers (6-18) tallied seven straight points for a 12-9 advantage. From there, the Crusaders closed the gap to just one point on six occasions, but could never take the lead in a 25-22 decision.
In the second set, CBU used early 3-0 and 4-0 runs after a 1-1 to lead 11-5. The Lancers never trailed in the set, although Belmont Abbey battled to a 23-20 deficit late in the set before falling 25-20.
An exciting third set concluded the match with both teams gaining set points late. The Crusaders trailed 9-6 but scored three straight for a 9-9 tie. The teams traded points from 11-10 to 19-18, then were tied at 20-20, before the Lancers opened a 24-21 lead. But Aaron Dierkes engineered four straight points on his serve and The Abbey led 25-24. Cal Baptist won back-to-back points for a 26-25 lead, but the Crusaders did the same for a 27-26 advantage. However, the Lancers closed the match with three straight for a 29-27 win.
Belmont Abbey makes its final regular-season road trip of the year to Pfeiffer on Tuesday, then closes the slate with four straight home matches beginning next Friday against Emmanuel.