Armstrong Atlantic storms back from a 2-1 deficit to beat Belmont Abbey
SAVANNAH, Ga. -- Top-seeded Armstrong Atlantic State survived a first-round scare from eighth-seeded Belmont Abbey in a 3-2 first round victory of the Division II women's volleyball tournament. The set scores were 18-25, 25-18, 22-25, 25-8, 15-11.
The Pirates (33-5) advanced to the region semifinals for the second consecutive year and fourth time in five seasons, while spoiling the first trip to the NCAA tournament for Belmont Abbey, which finished the season 26-5. Armstrong will face fourth-seeded Tusculum in the second round on Friday.
Belmont Abbey took a first-set win as the Pirates had 10 hitting errors and four service errors in the set, but Armstrong stormed back to take the second set by hitting .400. The Pirates looked well on their way to a third-set win as well, leading 20-16, but the Crusaders scored nine of the last 11 points of the set to take a 2-1 advantage.
Armstrong hit .600 in the fourth set with 13 kills and one error in 20 attacks, storming back to the easy fourth-set win. In the fifth set, things stayed within one point until Armstong strung together four consecutive points, turning an 8-7 deficit into an 11-8 lead. A kill from Brittany Wolf brought about match point and then a block by Kristen Holmes and Ashley Seal -- the 12th block of the match for the Pirates -- sent host Armstrong through to the Round 2.
Wolf finished the match with a team-high 16 kills, hitting .480 with eight blocks to pace the Pirates offensively. Amanda Jones added 12 kills and four blocks, while Jessica Santaniello notched 11 kills and 16 digs with Ashley Seal contributing 10 kills and 34 assists.
Hannah Schellenberg led the Crusaders with 11 kills, with Kay Schellenberg adding 31 assists and Tori Jensen collecting eight blocks.