BELMONT, N.C. -- Liam Maxwell had 17 kills and seven digs while Brian Long added 12 kills on a .588 hitting percentage, leading Belmont Abbey to a 3-1 (25-27, 25-21, 25-15, 25-16) come-from-behind victory over Emmanuel Friday night at the Wheeler Center. The victory avenged a five-set loss to the Lions earlier this season.
Brennan Davis led the offense with 35 assists and seven digs and three blocks, while Rob Valentine tallied nine digs. William Morris registered eight blocks (one solo, seven assists). Ackeem West led Emmanuel with 10 kills.
Belmont Abbey (11-14, 7-7) jumped out to a 15-8 lead midway through the opening set, but Emmanuel (9-16, 5-11) closed to within 19-18. The Crusaders stretched the margin to 22-20, but EC surged back with three straight points for a 23-22 lead. The Abbey faced set point at 24-23, but Long had back-to-back kills for a 25-24 advantage. Another 3-0 run for Emmanuel ended the first set, 27-25.
In the second set, Emmanuel took an early advantage and led 18-15 when the Crusaders rallied. They scored three straight to even the set at 18, then answered a Lion point with another 3-0 run for a 21-19 advantage. Emmanuel tried to rally, getting to within 23-21, but a service error and kill by Long tied the match at 1-1.
Belmont Abbey dominated sets three and four to take the win. In the third, it broke a 9-9 tie with six straight points, then later turned a 17-12 lead to 21-12 with four in a row. Long once again closed the set 25-15 with a kill. In the fourth, the Crusaders hit .421 to the Lions' .038. They broke an 11-11 tie with six straight points to start an 8-1 streak. Emmanuel got to within 21-14 after a couple of points, but Maxwell served for two straight points and Long posted his third straight set-ending kill for the victory.
Belmont Abbey closes out its regular-season home slate tomorrow afternoon at 5 p.m. against Erskine. Seniors Gavin Schaffer and Valentine will be honored in a pre-game ceremony.