CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Belmont Abbey faced two of the strongest teams in the Southeast Region Saturday at the Queens Tournament, but came up short in both matches by 3-0 decisions. The Crusaders opened play with a 25-16, 25-19, 26-24 loss to Francis Marion before a 25-19, 25-18, 25-16 setback against Wingate.
Belmont Abbey (0-4) got off to good starts in each of the first two games, leading 7-3 and 9-6 respectively, before giving up big runs. A 5-1 spurt midway through the third turned an 11-8 run into a 16-9 lead. Later, trailing 22-20, Belmont Abbey rattled off four straight to reach a set point, but the Patriots tallied the last four points of the set for a 26-24 win.
In the afternoon match, hitting was the key as Belmont Abbey totalled just 24 kills against 16 errors (.081) over three sets. The highest total came in the middle set, when the Crusaders tallied a percentage of .114). Mackenzie Chrapliwy led the way with nine kills, while Hannah Dubas added four. Cloninger led the defensive effort with 12 digs.
Belmont Abbey returns to action next weekend at the USC-Aiken Invitational.