Crusaders Earn Important Conference Win in Saturday Split

Crusaders Earn Important Conference Win in Saturday Split

BELMONT, N.C. -- Belmont Abbey split a doubleheader of volleyball action on Saturday, winning an important conference match over Lees-McRae 3-0 before dropping a five-set thriller against Augusta.

Belmont Abbey returns to action Friday night at Winston Salem State.

Belmont Abbey hit .304 as a team and Alexandra Henriott and Aimee Cloninger both reached double figures in kills as the Crusaders posted a 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-10) victory over Lees-McRae in Conference Carolinas volleyball action. The victory clinched a spot in the league's postseason tournament next month.

Henriott had 14 kills and only three errors in 26 tries (.426), while Cloninger tallied 13 kills and four errors for a .333 percentage. Mackenzie Charpaliwy fell just short of double figures with eight kills. Gabby Martinez was credited with 22 assists, while Cassidy Bonito had 16. Sarah Kenney was the lone Crusader in double-figures digs with 20. Lees-McRae hit just .092 in the contest.

In the opening set, the teams were tied at 5-5 when the Crusaders surged ahead with a 7-2 run. The Bobcats closed to within three six times after that, the last at 23-20, but Chrapliwy and Henriott tallied kills to end the set, 25-20. The teams were tied at 16-16 in the second set when The Abbey made its move. A 4-0 run sparked by the serve of Leah Gunter made the score 20-16, but LMC tried to rally, cutting the lead to three twice, including at 23-20. Cloninger ended the set with back-to-back kills for a 25-20 decision.

Belmont Abbey opened the final set with four straight points on Martinez' serve and later led 7-2. With the score 13-7, the Crusaders gained a 5-0 run on Martinez' second trip to the serving box. Lydia Sale and Kenney also gained back-to-back points at service after that enroute to the 25-10 win.

Cloninger and Chrapliwy again reached double figures in kills, but Augusta rallied for a 3-2 victory (25-27,25-21,19-25,28-26,15-12) victory over the Crusaders. The teams also met in five-setter with the same result in the season opener.

Martinez again led the way with 28 assists, followed closely by Bonito with 21. Four players reached double figures in digs -- Chrapliwy (17), Kenney (15), Martinez (11) and Cloninger (11).

Two of the five sets went to extra points as game one went to the Crusaders 27-25, while game four went to the Jaguars 28-26.