BELMONT, N.C. -- Brennan Davis dished out 43 assists and Liam Maxwell and Pierce Pliapol each topped double figures in kills, leading Belmont Abbey to a thrilling 3-2 (20-25, 25-19, 25-16, 22-25, 15-11) victory over North Greenville in Conference Carolinas men's volleyball action Wednesday night. Maxwell finished the contest with 24 kills and a .380 hitting percentage, while Pliapol added 12 kills without an error.
As a team, The Abbey hit .383 (61-15-120), the first time this year it has been over .300. Four players tallied at least eight digs, led by Gavin Schaffer's nine.
In the opening set, Belmont Abbey (5-8, 4-4) opened a 4-2 lead, but North Greenville (7-9, 3-5) answered with a 5-1 run that made the score 7-5. BAC trailed again 12-11 when the visitors tallied three straight to open a four-point advantage. The Abbey chipped the margin down to two on several occasions -- the last at 22-20 -- but NGU ended the set with the final three points of the 25-20 verdict.
The second set was tied at 11 when The Abbey scored three straight and five of six points to lead 16-12. The lead wavered between three and four until late in the set, when BAC tallied the last three points of its own for the 25-19 decision.
The Abbey went up 2-1 by taking the third set in decisive fashion. It broke a 7-7 tie with five straight points, then with the score 19-16 rattled off six in a row for a 25-16 victory. North Greenville never trailed in the fourth set, scoring the first two points before The Abbey tied things at 3-3 and 4-4. But four straight points created some cushion, then a pair of 3-0 runs pushed the margin to 19-12. The hosts rallied to within a single point at 23-22, but a service error and attack error forced the deciding set.
In the final set, the teams traded the first six points for a 3-3 tie but The Abbey tallied three straight for a 6-3 edge. The margin went back and forth between two and three until 10-8 when Belmont Abbey won back-to-back points. After North Greenville closed to within two at 12-10, a service error and kill by Maxwell set up the first match point. A service error saved the first, but NGU committed the same offense right away, giving Belmont Abbey the win.
The Abbey returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Alderson Broaddus at 2 p.m. in the Wheeler Center.