The Belmont Abbey women's volleyball team opened the season with a split at the Newberry Invitational, losing to Francis Marion 3-1 and then rallying from a 2-1 deficit to upend UNC Pembroke 3-2.
In the season opener against the Patriots, the opening set was a close one as Belmont Abbey's 17-12 lead was the largest of the set. After that, however, the Patriots scored ten of the next twelve points and went on to win the set by a score of 25-23.
Set two was all Abbey. The Crusaders jumped out to an early 11-2 lead, and also scored 10 of the set's final 11 points for a 25-10 set victory. Francis Marion took the next two sets by scores of 25-20 and 25-22 respectively.
In the second match of the day, which was delayed after a thunderstorm knocked out power on the Newberry campus, the Braves jumped out to an early 11-3 lead. After that, their lead never dropped below seven, as they took the set 25-14.
The Abbey displayed a similar dominance in the second set. After trailing 4-3 early, the Crusaders scored five straight points and went on to win the set 25-15.
The next two sets were very competitive with the Braves taking set three 25-23 and the Crusaders winning set four 25-22. The Abbey sealed the match in set five, winning 15-7. The Crusaders put the frame away early, winning the first six points of the set to seize the momentum and end any doubt. Schellenberg led the way with 14 kills, with Coreen Norwood chipping in nine. Sarah Kenney led the defense with 28 digs.
The Crusaders will complete the Invitational tomorrow with matches against Mars Hill at 9:00 a.m. and Newberry at 5:00 p.m.