HARTSVILLE, S.C. -- Belmont Abbey had three players reach double figures in kills and the Crusaders took advantage of five Coker errors in the deciding fifth set for a 3-2 (19-25, 25-19, 28-26, 20-25, 15-8) road victory Friday night.
Belmont Abbey (2-4) led 2-1 in the final set before Coker scored three in a row for a 4-3 lead. The score was tied at 6-6 when the Crusaders rattled off five straight points for an 11-6 lead. After Coker (3-2) gained back-to-back points, The Abbey answered with a 4-0 run to end the match, 15-8.
The Crusaders fell behind 1-0 after dropping the first set 25-19. They held a 10-9 lead when the Cobras used three straight points to start a 7-2 run. A timeout helped Belmont Abbey to consecutive points, but Coker answered with four straight points for a 20-14 advantage. From there, the teams split the next 10 points to wrap up the set.
In the second, Belmont Abbey never trailed, starting with four straight points, then turned a 5-3 lead into 9-3 with another four in a row. Coker closed the gap to one at 19-18 and 20-19, but the Crusaders held off the rally by tallying five straight for a 25-19 win.
The Crusaders saved three set points in a 28-26 victory in the third. They trailed 18-16, but scored three straight to take the lead. After the Cobras used back-to-back points to retake the lead, the teams traded eight straight points to make the score 24-23 in favor of Coker. Another four points traded sides, with Belmont Abbey saving the set at 25-24 and 26-25. A service error tied the score at 26-26 before two Cobra attack errors - the first on a block by Liam Maxwell and Brennan Breyer -- put the Crusaders up 2-1.
Coker responded with a 25-20 victory in the fourth to set up the deciding set. Six straight points turned a 3-1 Belmont Abbey lead into a 7-3 advantage that the Cobras never relinquished.
The Crusaders have a quick turnaround as they host King tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. at the Wheeler Center.