BELMONT, N.C. -- Liam Maxwell tallied 17 kills and a .517 hitting percentage and Belmont Abbey hit .301 as a team, helping the Crusaders to a 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 26-24) victory over Alderson Broaddus in men's volleyball action Saturday afternoon at the Wheeler Center.
In the opening set, Alderson Broaddus (3-11) started with a 5-3 lead, but Belmont Abbey (6-8) scored three in a row for a 6-5 advantage. The teams were later tied at 10-10 when the Crusaders used runs of 3-0 and 2-0 around a service error to make the score 15-11. The margin was five at 20-15 when the Battlers tried to rally, closing to within 21-20. After the teams traded points, The Abbey got kills from Gavin Schaffer and Pliapol before Eck served an ace to end the set 25-21.
The second set also started in favor of the visitors as they bolted to a 12-5 lead, but Belmont Abbey slowly chipped away. Four straight points during Eck's serve closed the gap to 12-9, but the lead when to back to five at 15-10. Three straight points cut the gap to two, 15-13, then four in a row a short time later turned a 17-14 deficit into an 18-17 lead. The teams were tied at 19 when Maxwell delivered back-to-back kills, then the Crusaders answered an ABU kill with consecutive points for a 23-20 advantage. Maxwell had two more kills in the set, pushing The Abbey to a 25-22 victory.
The final set saw both teams post late rallies. Belmont Abbey broke an 11-11 tied with back-to-back points and later led 19-17. But Alderson Broaddus answered with a 5-1 run that put it ahead 21-20. The Crusaders tied the score at 20, 21, 22 and 23 before breaking the cycle for a 24-23. The Battlers pulled even at 24 to save one match point, but a kill by Maxwell and ace by Long lifted The Abbey to victory.
Belmont Abbey returns to action next weekend when it hosts Mount Olive and Barton in a pair of key Conference Carolinas matches.