FRANKLIN SPRINGS, Ga. -- Belmont Abbey dropped the first two sets, but mounted a furious comeback to earn a 3-2 (24-26, 19-25, 25-16, 26-16, 15-12) victory over King Saturday afternoon in the semifinals of the 2018 Conference Carolinas Volleyball Tournament. The Crusaders, seeded No. 1 in the North Division, face No. 1 North seed Emmanuel in the championship match tomorrow.
Cassidy Bonito posted her third triple-double of the season with 15 kills, 45 assists and 13 digs, while Mackenzie Chrapliwy added a double-double of 16 kills and 16 digs. Sarah Keney added 21 digs with Leah Gunter chipping in 14.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Belmont Abbey pulled out to an early first set lead 23-17, but King rallied with six straight points. The Tornado faced set point at 24-23, but rallied to take the first 26-24.
- In the second, King stretched a 12-11 margin to 15-11 with three points in a row, but the Crusaders repeated the run to trail 15-14. With the score 18-17 in King's favor, a 6-2 spurt pushed the Tornado to a 2-0 lead in the match.
- Belmont Abbey didn't quit, bolting to a 13-3 lead in the third. King rebounded with four straight points, but the Crusaders kept the pressure on and took the set 25-16.
- The Abbey led 12-11 in the fourth when it used a 4-1 run to lead by four. After King closed to 16-14, the Crusader ensured a deciding set by scoring eight of the next nine points.
- King led 7-4 in the fifth, but a 3-1 run by the Crusaders closed the margin to one. The Crusader tied the match at 9-9 before each team tallied back-to-back points for an 11-11 score. After dropping a point, Belmont Abbey ended the match with the final four points.
- The Abbey was outhit .232 to .157 in the match, but connected at a .417 clip in the final set.
THE AWARDS BANQUET
- Earlier in the day, four Belmont Abbey players were honored as all-conference. Additionally, Toni Elyea was named league Coach of the Year.
- The conference championship begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday. The Crusaders handed the Lions their only conference loss of the season, a 3-2 road decision on Sept. 28. The winner will earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Southeast Regional.