GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -- Belmont Abbey rallied from an 8-3 deficit in the fifth set against Tusculum Saturday afternoon, earning a 3-2 (25-20, 25-16, 25-27, 21-25, 15-11) victory in its final match of the SAC Regional Challenge. Earlier in the day, the Crusaders dropped a close 3-1 (27-29, 26-24, 25-21, 25-21) decision to Mars Hill.
Setting the Stage
- Belmont Abbey finished the first of two in-season tournaments.
- The first two sets took extra points with each team winning once. The final two games were decided by 25-21 scores.
- In the third set, Mars Hill reversed a 20-18 deficit with six straight points, while it broke a 17-17 tie with a 7-1 run.
- Mackenzie Chrapliwy tallied 18 kills in 50 attempts, while Lydia Sale and Cassidy Bonito also reached double figures with 10 each.
- Bonito completed a triple-double with 46 assists and 12 digs.
- Three other Crusaders also reached double figures in kills -- Sarah Kenney (29), Hailey Ryan (16) and Chrapliwy (15).
- Belmont Abbey quickly jumped ahead by winning the first two sets, 25-20 and 25-16.
- The third set needed extra points (27-25) with Tusculum forcing a fourth and then a fifth set, 25-21).
- In the fifth set, the Pioneers broke a 1-1 tie with three straight points, then led 8-3 before the Crusaders fought back.
- They trailed 9-5 when a 6-0 run led by the serve of Keifer Zimmerman turned the momentum.
- Belmont Abbey tallied the final three points for the victory.
- Bonito gained her third double-double of the tournament with 12 kills and 43 assists.
- Chrapliwy led the way with 15 kills, while Brianna Morgheim and Lanie Healey added 11 kills each.
- Kenney tallied 33 digs, while three others topped double figures - Leah Gunter with 17, Chrapliwy with 16 and Hailey Ryan with 15.
- Belmont Abbey now stands 2-4 on the season.
- Next weekend, the Crusaders travel back to Tennessee to participate in the Union Volleyball Classic. They will face Henderson State and Christian Brothers on Friday, then LeMoyne-Owen and host Union on Saturday.