GAFFNEY, S.C. -- Liam Maxwell and Brian Long each reached double figures in kills and Belmont Abbey held a hitting advantage of .326 to .065, lifting the Crusaders to a 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 31-29) victory over Limestone in Conference Carolinas men's volleyball action Friday night. The win gives The Abbey a sweep of the Saints this year and keeps it in contention for a home game in the tournament quarterfinals next month.
Maxwell finished with 17 kills and four digs, while Long tallied 10 kills against just one error to hit .474. Brennan Davis registered 42 assists, while Rob Valentine spearheaded the defensive effort with 18 digs.
Belmont Abbey (7-12, 5-6) came out swinging, opening a 5-2 lead in the first set. The Saints closed the margin to 6-5, but the Crusaders won three straight and seven of the next eight points for a 13-6 advantage. The teams traded 3-0 runs as Limestone cut its deficit to 16-12, but The Abbey pushed it back to seven, 19-12. The Saints saved the first set point at 24-16, but the Crusaders used a service error for a 25-17 win.
The home team dropped the first point of the second set before winning three straight. It led 9-7 when the Crusaders tallied four in a row for an 11-9 lead, but the Saints responded with a 6-2 surge that put them up two, 16-14. BAC tied the set at 16-16 but Limestone used back-to-back errors to go up by two once again. But the Crusaders had an answer. They scored three in a row, then answered they tying point with four in a row to take control. The set ended 25-22 on a kill by Pierce Pliapol.
The decider was the closest of all as Limestone broke a 15-15 tie with three straight points. The Crusaders clawed back to take a 23-21 lead on the heels of four straight points after trailing 21-19. At 24-22, Limestone saved two match points, tallying three in a row to have a set point of its own. Belmont Abbey had three more match points before a 29-29 tie was broken by kills from Long and Gavin Schaffer, ending the third 31-29.
Belmont Abbey continues its busy week with two matches in Bristol, Tenn., on Saturday. The Crusaders face non-conference foe Bluefield State at 1 before taking on host King in a conference matchup at 3.