WILSON, N.C. -- Senior Aimee Cloninger led three players with double-figure kills with 14 and added 10 digs for her seventh double-double, but the No. 2 North-seed Belmont Abbey was unable to pull the upset over No. 1 South Erskine Saturday in the semifinals of the Conference Carolinas Volleyball Championship. The final score was 3-1 with set scores of 23-25, 25-18, 25-14, 26-24.
Belmont Abbey used a late rally to take the opening set 25-23, scoring the final four points after trailing 23-21. Earlier, the Crusaders broke a 9-9 tie with three straight points, but the Flying Fleet answered with the same to even the game at 12. After each team added a point, BAC rattled off four in a row for a 17-13 advantage, but Erskine repeated the feat for a 17-17 tie. The Crusaders broke the deadlock, but three straight for EC set up the Abbey's late heroics.
The Crusaders led 14-13 in the second set, but surrendered four straight points that started a 6-1 run. Belmont Abbey closed to wthin 20-17, but another 4-0 run led to a 25-18 Erskine win. The momentum stayed with the Flying Fleet as it opened the third with leads of 3-0 and 7-2. After a kill by Henriott, Erskine rattled off six straight to open a double-digit margin, 13-3.
Belmont Abbey led 9-7 in the fourth, but another run lifted the Flying Fleet. Erskine scored five straight points to open a 12-9 lead. The Crusaders would not give up, tallying four of the next five scores for a 13-13 tie and would later take leads of 15-14, 16-15 and 17-16. Trailing 19-18, Belmont Abbey tallied three in a row and then led 23-21, but Erskine gained three straight points for its first match point. The Crusaders saved one, but the Flying Fleet got a block and a kill to advance, 26-24.
Belmont Abbey finishes its season at 19-13, finishing second in the North Division after being picked seventh overall in the preseason poll.