MISENHEIMER, N.C. -- Liam Maxwell tallied a team season-best 20 kills and Belmont Abbey hit .316 as a team to rally for a 3-2 (24-26, 26-28, 25-17, 25-18, 15-10) victory over Pfeiffer Tuesday night in Conference Carolinas men's volleyball action. With the victory, the Crusaders clinch a victory in the league tournament next month.
Three other players reached double figures for Belmont Abbey -- Aaron Dierkes (12), Austin Quinn (11) and Gavin Schaffer (11). Bryce Sullivan registered 55 assists, while Maxwell added 17 digs, also the most by a Crusader this year.
Despite hitting over .200 in each of the two sets, Belmont Abbey (5-16, 4-10) dropped each of them. In the first, the Crusaders led 23-21 before surrendering back-to-back points, then 24-23 before giving up three in a row. Pfeiffer (0-15, 0-14) broke a 20-20 tie in the second with three straight points, then led 24-21 before The Abbey rallied. It answered with three of its own for a 24-24 tie, then answered a pair of single points for ties at 25 and 26. The Falcons broke through to win the second 28-26.
The tide turned in the middle of the third. Belmont Abbey broke a 9-9 tie with six straight points for a 15-9 lead. Pfeiffer closed to within 16-14, but a 4-1 run pushed the lead back to five, 20-15. The Crusaders closed out the set, 25-17, by taking the last four points.
The Abbey broke an 8-8 tie in the fourth with back-to-back points, then later won seven of 10 points to turn an 11-10 lead into 18-13. At 21-17, BAC captured four of the next five points to force the fifth set.
In the decider, The Abbey never trailed, opening with back-to-back points and then another two in a row to answer a Pfeiffer point. With the score 6-4, the Crusaders got a service error and a pair of kills by Maxwell for a 9-4 advantage. The Falcons closed to 12-9, but BAC won three of the next four points to take the victory.
Belmont Abbey closes the regular season with a four-game homestand beginning with games Friday and Saturday night against Emmanuel and North Greenville.