FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga. -- Sophomore Liam Maxwell reached double figures in kills for the ninth time in 10 matches with 15, but an .034 hitting percentage allowed Emmanual to escape with a 3-2 (25-21, 20-25, 23-25, 25-21, 15-7) Conference Carolinas men's volleyball victory Saturday afternoon. The Lions hit .258 in the contest, including a decisive .304 to -.125 advantage in the fifth set.
In the opening set, Belmont Abbey (4-6, 2-2) held a 17-15 lead, but Emmanuel (3-7, 2-3) scored back-to-back points to even the set at 17. After a service error put the Crusaders ahead again, the Lions used another two points to start a 5-1 run that mead the score 22-19. The first set ended with a 25-21 result for Emmanuel.
The second set was tied at 7-7 when the Crusaders used a 5-1 run to lead 12-8. They stretched a 13-10 advantage to 17-10 with four in a row before Emmanuel took two straight points. The score was 21-13 when the Lions tried to rally. They answered with a 5-1 spurt of their own to close to within 22-18, but a timeout helped The Abbey to a three of the final five points for a 25-20 win.
Belmont Abbey trailed in much of the third set and was down 23-22 when it tallied the final three points of the set. Maxwell tied the score with a kill before Brian Long delivered an ace for set point. An attack error gave the Crusaders a 25-23 decision and 2-1 match lead.
Emmanuel made a run in the middle of the fourth set to take it 25-21. It lead 11-10 when it tallied six of the next seven points for a 17-11 advantage. Belmont Abbey did not quit with three straight points, but later trailed 21-17. Another 3-0 run closed the gap to one, 21-20, but Emmanuel answered with three straight of its own en route to the win.
Emmanuel earned the first two points of the decider, then answered a BAC point with five straight points for a 7-1 lead. The run continued to 10-2 with three in a row after another Crusader point. The Abbey closed to six at 10-4, 11-5 and 12-6, but could never gain the momentum.
Belmont Abbey stays on the road next weekend for a conference trip to Barton and Mount Olive.