BELMONT, N.C. -- Junior Alexandra Henriott registered a season-high 19 kills with no errors and added nine digs to lift Belmont Abbey to a 3-0 (25-12, 25-11, 25-16) victory over Limestone Tuesday night at the Wheeler Center. The victory puts the Crusaders into a Conference Carolinas semifinal matchup against No. 1 South Erskine on Saturday in Wilson, N.C.
Henriott hit .559 over 34 attempts, helping The Abbey (19-12) to a .330 hitting percentage as a team, its third-highest mark of the season. In contrast, Limestone (11-17) had 15 kills and 17 errors for a -.020 percentage. Gabby Martinez dished out a team-high 25 assists, while three players reached double figures in digs -- Sarah Kenney (18), Mackenzie Chrapliwy (13) and Aimee Cloninger (11).
Belmont Abbey dominated the match from the beginning, scoring the first three points, then turning a 4-3 lead into 16-3 with 12 straight points on Sarah Kenney's serve. The Saints cut the lead to nine, but four straight points on Martinez's serve set up match point at 24-11. After one save, Coreen Norwood had one of her seven kills for a 25-12 win.
Set two started with a BAC point before three in a row by Limestone, but the Crusaders quickly answered with five straight for a 6-3 lead. With the score 8-5, Henriott engineered another 5-0 run that made the score 13-5. Martinez later stretched the lead further with six straight points on her serve, turning a 15-10 lead to 21-10. Henriott closed out the set with back-to-back kills for the 25-11 victory.
In the third, Belmont Abbey opened 2-0 and 5-1 leads early and never looked back. Chrapliwy served five straight times, turning a 7-4 lead into 12-4, then the Crusaders pushed that to 20-9. After three straight points by the Saints, Chrapliwy again answered. Cassidy Bonito sealed the victory with a kill on match point.
The time for the semifinal -- either 5 or 7:30 p.m. -- will be announced soon. Check www.abbeyathletics.com for more details.