FLORENCE, SC – Francis Marion University captured the opening set on Tuesday evening (Oct. 9), but Belmont Abbey College rallied to win the next three sets to claim a 22-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-15 victory in non-conference volleyball action.
Francis Marion (9-10) returns to Peach Belt Conference action on Friday as it hosts UNC Pembroke at 7 p.m. in the Smith University Center. Friday night is FMU's annual "Dig Pink" match, benefitting the Side-Out Foundation. Individuals donating $15 or more will receive a free t-shirt. Admission to the match is free and fans are encouraged to wear pink.
The Patriots took the opening set thanks in large part to the duo of senior Georgia Garrison and freshman Iyanla Thigpen, who each recorded five kills. With the second set knotted up at 18-18, the Crusaders (13-8) reeled off a 6-1 run to reach set point. Francis Marion fought off three set points, but junior Cassidy Bonito finished things off for the visitors with a kill to even the match at one set apiece.
The third set was once again tight. With the score deadlocked at 22-22, Belmont Abbey claimed the final three points to carry the advantage into the fourth set. After an early 5-5 tie, the Crusaders claimed three straight points to open up a lead they would not relinquish, on their way to a 25-15 match-clinching victory.
Garrison and Thigpen paced the Patriots' attack, registering 13 and 10 kills, respectively. Senior setter Carrie McGinnis dished out 29 assists, while sophomore libero Natalie Ferrell posted 22 digs. Garrison and sophomore Kayla Arthur each collected a game-high five blocks for FMU, while Thigpen added four.
Junior Mackenzie Chrapliwy led the way for Belmont Abbey, registering a match-high 16 kills, as well as four service aces. Bonito came within one kill of a triple-double, posting nine kills, 37 assists, and 13 digs.
Post-match comments from FMU head coach Lauren Baufield
Belmont Abbey Coll. def. Francis Marion Univ. 22-25,25-22,25-22,25-15
Belmont Abbey Coll. (13-8) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Mackenzie Chrapliwy
16-4-0; Andie Meredith 13-0-4; Cassidy Bonito 9-0-1; Mckenzie Miller
8-0-2; Brianna Morgheim 8-0-1; Lanie Healey 1-0-3; Sarah Kenney 0-3-0;
Totals 55-7-7.0. (Assists) - Cassidy Bonito 37. (Dig leaders) - Sarah
Kenney 24; Cassidy Bonito 13; Leah Gunter 12; Hailey Ryan 12;
Mackenzie Chrapliwy 9
Francis Marion Univ. (9-10) (Kills-aces-blocks) - Georgia Garrison
13-1-5; Iyanla Thigpen 10-0-4; Courtney Abdur-Rahim 7-1-2; Kayla
Arthur 5-0-5; Carrie McGinnis 2-1-0; Alyssa Hansen 2-0-0; Madison
Taylor 0-0-1; Finn Millians 0-0-1; Natalie Ferrell 0-1-0; Totals
39-4-10.0. (Assists) - Carrie McGinnis 29. (Dig leaders) - Natalie
Ferrell 22; Alexis Watts 9
Site: Florence, SC (Smith Univ. Center)
Date: Oct 09, 2018 Attend: 148 Time: 1:59
Referees: Glenn Goudy, Ronnie Mutter
Line judges: Karson Parker, Lindsey Burdette
Liberos: Ferrell (FMU), Kenney (BAC)