BELMONT, N.C. -- Liam Maxwell totaled 11 kills and a block, but King earned a 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-16) victory in Conference Carolinas men's volleyball action at the Wheeler Center.
King, picked third in the league's preseason poll, hit .435 in the contest, including .556 in the final set, while holding the Crusaders to a .133 percentage.
The opening set started with four straight King points, but The Abbey closed to within 11-9. Later, the Tornado rattled off three straight points to stretch a 16-15 lead to 19-15. Belmont Abbey cut in the lead again, trailing 21-19, but King won back-to-back points and four of the next five to take the set 25-20.
Belmont Abbey had a 4-3 lead in the second set, but King scored three in a row to take the lead. After the Crusaders closed to 8-7, another 3-0 run started an 8-2 flurry that made the score 16-9. The Abbey trimmed the margin to 18-13, but the Tornado responded with five straight points en route to a 25-16 victory.
The final set again saw a 4-3 Belmont Abbey lead, but King responded with five in a row for an 8-4 advantage. After the Crusaders answered with three straight, the Tornado seized control with a 7-0 run. From there, The Abbey never got any closer than a seven-point difference, falling 25-16 in the final set.
Belmont Abbey continues its homestand on Tuesday when it hosts Lees-McRae.