BELMONT, N.C. -- Sophomore Liam Maxwell tallied a career-high 28 kills and Brennan Davis added 49 kills and 14 digs, but Belmont Abbey dropped a five-set thriller to the University of Charleston 3-2 (26-28, 25-20, 23-25, 25-18, 15-10) in men's volleyball action Wednesday night. Maxwell had just six errors in 60 attempts for a .367 hitting percentage.
In the deciding fifth set, Belmont Abbey (6-12) led 4-2, but allowed a kill and four straight aces as Charleston (11-4) took a 7-4 advantage. The Crusaders closed to two at 7-5 and 8-6, but the Golden Eagles earned three straight points to push the lead back to five and never looked back.
The Abbey had taken leads in the match by winning the first and third sets, but each time UC responded the next set to tie the match, eventually forcing the decider. In the opening set, the Crusaders trailed 9-5, but scored four straight points to tie the score at 9-9. Then, at 11-11, the rattled off four in a row, then pushed the lead to five, the latest at 23-18. Charleston surged back, closing to 23-22 before The Abbey gained its first set point. They saved three more before an attack error and kill by Maxwell ended the set. Charleston took the second 25-20 but a tight third set went to the Crusaders.
They trailed 11-9, but scored four straight to take the lead. The score was tied at 21-21 when Pierce Pliapol had two straight kills, setting up the 25-23 win.
Belmont Abbey returns to Conference Carolinas play on Friday when it starts a four-match road swing at Limestone.