BELMONT, N.C. -- Belmont Abbey celebrated its three seniors Friday night and the trio delivered, leading the Crusaders to a 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-18) sweep of Erskine Friday night at the Wheeler Center. The win was the fifth straight for Belmont Abbey, the second-longest streak in school history.
Senior Robert Nixon paced the offensive attack with eight kills and a .350 hitting percentage, while classmate Brennan Beyner had six kills and no errors for a .667 percentage. Liam Maxwell, a freshman, also tallied six kills. Senior David Radoszewski had a team-high nine digs with Bryce Sullivan dishing out 28 assists. The Crusaders (9-16, 8-10) hit .264 as a team, while limiting Erskine (3-20, 3-14) to .024.
Belmont Abbey opened the match with five straight and seven of the first nine points and later led 17-9 before Erskine tried to rally. The Flying Fleet turned a 5-0 run into 7-1, closing to within 18-16. But the Crusaders tallied back-to-back points, then gained set point at 24-20. The Flying Fleet were able to save three, making the score 24-23 but a service error ended the set.
From there, The Abbey seized control. The second set had just one lead change and one tie after the Crusaders dropped the first point then won eight of the next 10. Another run on Nixon's serve pushed the lead to 13-5 before it was extended to 17-7. Nixon served out the set 25-16.
The third set was all Abbey as it started 3-0 and never looked back. The Flying Fleet cut an 8-3 margin to 8-6 but the Crusaders stretched the lead to 17-10, then used two straight errors to close out the match, 25-18.
With the regular-season concluded, Belmont Abbey awaits its Conference Carolinas quarterfinals opponent. The Crusaders will finish as the fifth, sixth or seventh seed and play on the road on Tuesday, April 18.