WILSON, N.C. -- Belmont Abbey captured the Conference Carolinas North Division title on Saturday afternoon, sweeping defending champion Barton 3-0 (25-23, 25-15, 25-22) in a winner-take-all match at Wilson Gymnasium. The win gave the Crusaders their first volleyball title since a share of the regular-season championship in 2013 before divisional play was established. It also snapped a six-match losing streak to the Bulldogs, dating back to a home win on Sept. 23, 2016.
The Abbey improves to 21-9 overall and 12-2 in league play with their 19th win in 22 outings. Barton, which falls to 14-15, 10-4, earns the No. 2 North seed for next week's conference tournament.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Belmont Abbey held .277 to .182 hitting advantage with seven more kills.
- Mackenzie Chrapliwy tallied 14 kills en route to a .286 effort, while Brianna Morgheim hit .562 with 10 kills and one error in 16 attempts.
- Cassidy Bonito posted her 11th double-double of the season (tied for team high) with 36 assists and 11 digs.
- Freshman Hailey Ryan posted nine digs.
- In the opening set, Belmont Abbey trailed 15-10 but used a 6-2 run to close to within 17-16. Trailing 20-17, the Crusaders score four points in a row to take the lead, then broke a 21-21 deadlock with back-to-back points. From there, they traded points for a 25-23 win.
- The second stanza was even at 10-10 when The Abbey rattled off four straight points. After an error, another 4-0 run broke the set open at 19-11, en route to the 25-15 victory.
- In the final set, Belmont Abbey trailed early, but broke a 20-20 tie with back-to-back points. After a Barton kill, they rattled on two more points, then took the match on a service error.
- Belmont Abbey opens the 2018 Conference Carolinas Tournament with a home quarterfinal against No. 4 South seed Southern Wesleyan. The Warriors handed the Crusaders one of their two conference losses this year, 3-2 at home on Oct. 5.
- With a quarterfinal win, The Abbey would advance to a Saturday semifinal against either North Greenville or King, to be played at either top-seeded Emmanuel or at the Wheeler Center.