WINGATE, N.C. -- Mackenzie Chrapliwy led three players in double figures for kills with 17, helping Belmont Abbey to a split of a tri-match on its opening night of the season. The Crusaders defeated Winston-Salem State 3-1 (25-14, 20-25, 30-28, 25-19) in the first match before falling to Wingate 3-1 (29-31, 25-11, 25-17, 25-12) in the nightcap.
Setting the Stage
- Belmont Abbey faced Winston-Salem State to open its season. The Rams had its season opener this past weekend, going 1-4 at the Coker/Invitational
- Belmont Abbey returned three All-Conference Carolinas players, plus the Defensive Player of the Year from a team that advanced to the conference championship match a year ago.
- Both of the matches were streamed live on ESPN3.
- Belmont Abbey scored the first six points of the match and cruised to a 25-14 win in the opening set. After dropping the second 25-20, the Crusaders needed extra points for a 30-28 win in the third. The match ended with a 25-19 verdict in the fourth.
- Chrapliwy tallied 17 kills in 50 attempts, while Lydia Sale registered 11 kills and a .421 hitting percentage. Brianna Morgheim added 10 kills.
- Cassidy Bonito dished out 51 assists, while adding five aces and six digs. Sarah Kenney led the defensive effort with 27 digs.
- Belmont Abbey outhit WSSU .224 to .205 in the contest.
- Freshman Hailey Ryan made her collegiate debut with two kills on three attempts. She was the only newcomer to see action in the match.
- Belmont Abbey kept the momentum in the second match, opening on a 10-0 run against the hosts. Ryan opened as the first server and did not relinquish the role until after the lead reached double digits.
- Wingate closed the margin to 18-17, then scored three straight to turn a 19-17 deficit into a 20-19 lead. Belmont Abbey had set points at 24-23, 25-24, 26-25, 27-26 and 29-28, while fighting off one at 28-27 before taking the first set 31-29.
- The Bulldogs rallied over the next three sets to take the match.
- Ryan earned her first collegiate start, while classmate Mckenzie Miller saw playing time for the first time in her careers.
- Belmont Abbey stands 1-1, while Winston-Salem State fell to 1-5. Wingate, also making its season debut, is now 2-0.
- The Crusaders return to action this weekend for the first of two in-season tournaments, participating in the SAC Regional Crossover. They face Carson-Newman and Lincoln Memorial in Harragut, Tenn. on Friday before squaring off with Mars Hill and Tusculum in Greeneville, Tenn., the next day.