MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. -- Three Belmont Abbey players topped double figures in kills and the Crusaders limited Mount Olive to a .087 hitting percentage for a 3-0 sweep (25-22, 25-14, 25-22) of the Trojans Saturday at Kornegay Arena. The victory was the ninth in the last 10 matches for BAC, which kept the pressure on near the top of the Conference Carolinas North Division standings.
Aimee Cloninger tallied 12 kills, while Alexandra Henriott and Mackenzie Chrapliwy added 11 and 10, respectively. Henriott had just three errors, leading team in both hitting percentage (.348) and digs (12). Sarah Kenney reached double figures with 10 digs, while Gabby Martinez was credited with 22 assists, three more than teammate Cassidy Bonito.
Belmont Abbey (11-9, 8-2) trailed much of the opening game, including 21-18 before making a run. The Crusaders scored four straight points to take the lead at 22-21, then answered with the final three points of the set for a 25-22 victory.
Mount Olive started strong again in the second before the Crusaders took control. The Trojans led 7-3 and 8-5 when Henriott served six straight points to put The Abbey up 12-8. UMO closed to 13-12 but Tabitha Sims came in to serve and the team responded with a 6-0 run for a 20-12 lead. After back-to-back points by the Trojans, Martinez engineered four straight points to close out the set, 25-14.
The Crusaders started the third with a 4-1 advantage, but Mount Olive answered to tie the score at 5-5, then lead 8-7. Four straight points made the score 11-8, before another spurt pushed the score to 18-13. However, the Trojans roared back, tying the set at 20-20. Three straight points created some separation, but two attack errors closed the gap to one. Henriott had a kill before Leah Gunter ended the match with an ace.
Belmont Abbey returns home next Saturday for a tri-match including conference rival Pfeiffer and Fayetteville State. Action begins at 12 noon at the Wheeler Center.