WILSON, N.C. -- Mackenzie Chrapliwy posted a double-double of 11 kills and 10 digs, but a .075 hitting percentage was too much to overcome against top-seeded Barton on Sunday afternoon. The Bulldogs defended their 2016 title at home with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-15) victory over the Crusaders.
Belmont Abbey opened the match with four straight points after falling behind 1-0, but Barton quickly answered with the same run for a 5-4 lead. The Crusaders tallied back-to-back points to for a 6-5 margin, but another 4-0 spurt by the Bulldogs gave them the lead, 9-6.
A kill by Bonito trimmed the margin to two, but Barton answered with five of the next six points for a 14-8 lead. The spread was still six at 18-12, when the Bulldogs made another surge. They scored four of five to lead by nine, 22-13, before the Crusaders rallied with a 4-1 run of its own. However, the deficit was too much to overcome as Barton took the first set 25-18.
Belmont Abbey fell behind 4-0 at the start of the second and trailed 9-5 when it rallied. Five straight points put the Crusaders ahead 10-9, before the teams traded point to 11-11. A pair of kills by Brianna Morgheim and another by Bonito put The Abbey up 14-11, then the lead was extended to 16-12 after a block by Chrapliwy and Coreen Norwood.
However, the Bulldogs answered with six straight and nine of 11 points for a 21-18 advantage before things tightened up. The Crusaders scored two in a row to trail 21-20 before each team added a point. A service error and kill put the Bulldogs at set point, 24-21, but The Abbey saved two to trail 24-23. However, a timeout settled the Bulldogs and they gained a kill to take the second set, 25-23.
In the third set, Barton broke a 6-6 tie with three straight points and never trailed again. The Crusaders closed to within 10-9, but another 3-0 run was extended to 10-1, essential clinching the match.
Bonito and Chrapliwy were named to the all-tournament team at the conclusion of the match.
The Crusaders conclude the season with a 17-12 record.