BELMONT, N.C. -- Brian Long hit .529 with 11 kills and just two errors and Liam Maxwell tallied 15 kills, 10 digs and four aces, leading Belmont Abbey to a 3-0 (25-17, 32-30, 25-23) men's volleyball victory over cross-town rival Queens Thursday night.
Brennan Davis registered 36 assists and seven digs, while Rob Valentine added nine digs. William Morris had four kills and six blocks. The Crusaders (9-14) hit .232 in the match, while limiting Queens (4-17) to a .113 effort.
Belmont Abbey never trailed in the first, breaking a 1-1 tie with two straight points. The Crusaders led 7-6 when they engineered a 4-0 run that pushed the margin to five, 11-6. The advantage was 15-8 when Queens tried to rally, using three straight to close to within four, but two Royals errors pushed The Abbey's lead back to 17-11. The lead was 21-17 when the Crusaders closed out the set with the final four points, including kills by Maxwell and Gavin Schaffer.
Queens reversed course in the second, break a 5-5 tie with three straight points. After Belmont Abbey tallied back-to-back points, the Royals used a 10-2 to open their biggest lead of the set, 18-9.
But after the teams traded points, the Crusaders came to life. They scored three in a row, then followed a Queens point with four straight, making the lead 21-17. The run continued with two more 3-0 runs around another Royals point, the last two saving set points, to tie the score at 24-all. The teams traded points back and forth until Long had back-to-back kills to turn a 29-28 advantage by the visitors into a 30-29 lead by The Abbey. Three straight errors, two by Queens, completed the rally, 31-29.
Belmont Abbey needed another rally in the third, although not so dramatic. Queens scored three straight to turn a 14-12 deficit into a 15-14 lead. The Royals stretched the lead to two on three occasions, including 19-17 when the Crusaders used back-to-back points for a 20-20 tie. Queens scored three of the next four points, but The Abbey tallied the final points for a 25-23 victory. Maxwell gained the final kill as the Crusaders avenged a season-opening loss to the Royals in Charlotte.
Belmont Abbey continues its homestand on Saturday when it welcomes another South Atlantic Conference team -- Lincoln Memorial -- to the Wheeler Center. The match will start at 1 p.m.