BELMONT, N.C. -- Belmont Abbey saved two match points in the fourth set, then started the fifth with six straight points to rally past Barton 3-2 in women's volleyball action Friday night. The match was tightly contested throughout in the 25-23, 23-25, 24-26, 27-25, 15-6 victory.
Alexandra Henriott tallied 18 kills to lead four Crusaders in double figures. Aimee Cloninger and Mackenzie Chrapliwy added 14 kills each, while Coreen Norwood registered 11. The Crusaders were credited with 105 digs, second-most this season, with three players reaching 20 -- Sarah Kenney (25), Chrapliwy (22) and Cloninger (20). Gabby Martinez led the way with 32 assists, followed by Cassidy Bonito with 20.
The deciding set started with Barton serving, but Cloninger forced a blocking error for a 1-0 lead. Martinez then gained five straight points before the Bulldogs could get on the board at 6-1. The teams traded points to 7-2 before another three more points by BAC. The advantage reached double digits at 13-3 and an eight-point difference at 14-6 was the closed the Crusaders would allow the Bulldogs. A kill by Bonito finished the action.
After the teams split the first two sets, each winning 25-23, Barton (5-7, 2-1) took set No. 3 with a late rally. Belmont Abbey (5-8, 4-1) had led 22-18, but four straight points evened the score at 22. After a service error, the Bulldogs tallied back-to-back points for a 24-23 lead, but the Crusaders scored to make it 24-all. Barton gained the final two tallies to pull ahead two games to one.
In the fourth, Barton seemed poised to stay undefeated in league play, breaking a 10-10 tie with three straight points. Belmont Abbey closed to within one at 19-18, but Barton regained control to earn a match point at 24-22. That's where the Crusaders rallied. Henriott had three straight kills on Kenney's serves to put The Abbey into the lead. After Barton tied things at 25, a service error and kill by Chrapily set up dramatic victory.
Belmont Abbey returns home tomorrow to face Mount Olive in a 3 p.m. start at the Wheeler Center.