The Belmont Abbey women's volleyball team entered tonight's match the winners of ten straight, while its opponent, the King University Tornado, came in riding a 19 match winning streak. In a battle of the top two teams in Conference Carolinas, the Crusaders came out ahead as it snapped King's run with a 3-0 victory this evening before a raucous crowd of over 300 at the Wheeler Center. Belmont Abbey extends its winning streak to 11, as its last loss came at King on September 20. The Crusaders won by scores of 25-13, 25-17 and 25-21.
The win propels the Abbey to the top of the Conference Carolinas standings by a half game over the Tornado as it is now 17-3 overall and 10-1 in league play, while King drops to 20-4 overall and 9-1 in Conference Carolinas.
Belmont Abbey won the first two sets rather handily but had to muster a comeback in the decisive set. The Crusaders found themselves down 7-1, but Mary DeJute's team patiently and methodically worked back into the set, cutting the Tornado lead down to just one on three occassions, at 9-8, 10-9 and 12-11.
The Tornado won the next three points to surge ahead 16-15, but three-straight points from the Abbey-a kill by Hannah Schellenberg, a King error and a service ace from Ana Maria Pagan, pushed the Crusader lead to 18-16.
King fought back and deadlocked the match at 19, but Schellenberg recorded a kill on the next point to give the Crusaders a 20-19 edge. That was followed by a King miscue that upped the lead to 21-19, but the Tornado again rallied, winning the next two points to reach a 21-21 stalemate, but King would not score again.
The Crusaders scored the final four points of the match: a Lydia Schellenberg kill and three-consecutive King errors to close out the match to give the Abbey the win.
Hannah Schellenberg led all players with 13 kills as she registered a .316 attack. Lydia Schellenberg added nine and 14 digs. Gabby Martinez handed out 14 assists to go along with 10 digs. Abby Stine totaled 10 assists. Pagan posted three service aces and led all players with 23 digs.