AIKEN, S.C. -- Belmont Abbey rallied from down two sets to one to force a fifth and earned a match point after trailing 11-4, but could not close out Montevallo in the second match of the day at the USC-Aiken Invitational. Earlier in the day, the Crusaders dropped a three-set decision to Lander.
Against Montevallo, the Abbey (0-6) took the first set 28-26 before the Falcons rallied 26-24 in the second and 25-20 in the third. The Crusaders forced a deciding set for the third time in six matches this year with a 25-15 result in the fourth. Montevallo stormed out of the gate in the fifth, leads of 9-3 and 11-4 before Belmont Abbey fought back. The Crusaders rattled off seven straight points to pull even at 11 and later led 14-13, but the Falcons score the final three points of the match to pull out the victory.
Aimee Cloninger posted a team-season-best 20 kills, while Mackenzie Chrapliwy and Hannah Dubas also reached double figures with 17 and 14, respectively. Gabby Martinez tallied 62 assists, while five players topped double figures in digs, led by Sarah Kenney with 32.
The Crusaders have now gone to extra points in eight of their 24 sets this season.
In the afternoon match, Belmont Abbey fought hard in a 25-20, 28-26, 25-21 loss to Lander, their second in as many weekends to the Bearcats. Chrapliwy was the only player to reach double figures in kills with 13, while also adding a team-best 13 digs. Martinez had 18 assists with Cassidy Bonito chipping in 14.
The tournament concludes tomorrow with matches against host USC-Aiken and Merrimack.