Off the Block unveils Belmont Abbey All-Decade Starting Lineup

Photo courtesy of Belmont Abbey athletics

Some of the best players in Belmont Abbey’s program history are capping off the decade with a college men’s volleyball honor.

Off the Block announced on Wednesday the seven players selected to the Belmont Abbey All-Decade Starting Lineup presented by Off the Block.

The All-Decade Starting Lineup recognizes the best players to compete with a team since 2010. Similar to the starting lineup for a match, the All-Decade honor is comprised of a setter, opposite and libero along with two outside attackers and middle attackers.

The Off the Block staff determined the All-Decade Starting Lineup using a variety of factors including career statistical performance and the team’s overall success when a player was a member of the program.

This is also part of a series from Off the Block to celebrate the end of the decade in college men’s volleyball. Off the Block throughout the rest of 2019 will release an All-Decade Starting Lineup for every NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball team.

Belmont Abbey since starting its program in 2013 has advanced twice to the ConfCarolinas Tournament semifinals. In addition, the Crusaders ended the 2019 season winning a program-record 15 matches and earned a third-place finish in the ConfCarolinas regular season.

Off the Block is a national award winning website that was established in 2011 and is the nation’s leader in college men’s volleyball.

Belmont Abbey All-Decade Starting Lineup presented by Off the Block

Setter: Derek Sullivan
Opposite: Andrew Kohut
Outside attacker: Liam Maxwell
Outside attacker: Nolan Albrecht
Middle attacker: Brian Long
Middle attacker: Willaim Morris
Libero: Robert Valentine

Nolan Albrecht (2013-16)
Awards and honors:
2016 Karch Kiraly Award finalist, 2016 First-Team All-ConfCarolinas, 2016 ConfCarolinas All-Tournament Team, 2015 ConfCarolinas Comeback Player of the Year, 2015 First-Team All-ConfCarolinas, 2013 Second-Team All-ConfCarolinas
Albrecht still holds the Belmont Abbey program record with 1,185 career kills — a record he set despite missing his entire sophomore season because of an injury. In addition, Albrecht led the nation and set the school’s single-season record with a 5.03 kills per game average in 2016 as he led Belmont Abbey to its first postseason win in program history. This was the second-most kills per game average in ConfCarolinas history. The future Belmont Abbey head coach that season also had a career-best .350 attack percentage and 13 matches with at least 20 kills, including a season-high 33 kills against King.

Andrew Kohut (2019 – present)
Awards and honors:
2019 ConfCarolinas Freshman of the Year, 2019 Third-Team All-ConfCarolinas
Kohut as a freshman was among the ConfCarolinas leaders with a 2.24 kills per game average and had double-digit kills in nine matches. Among the top performances from the 2019 ConfCarolinas Freshman of the Year included 13 kills on a .579 attack percentage and two blocks in a late-season sweep against Mount Olive. Kohut also was in the conference’s top 20 averaging 0.73 blocks per game as Belmont Abbey finished in third place in the ConfCarolinas — the Crusaders’ best finish in program history.

Liam Maxwell (2017 – present)
Awards and honors:
2019 First-Team All-ConfCarolinas, 2018 First-Team All-ConfCarolinas
Maxwell ended last season leading the nation with a 4.51 kills per game average. This was the second consecutive year that Maxwell was in the nation’s top three averaging more than 4.25 kills per game. Maxwell during this two-year span has double-digit kills in all but four matches and has at least 20 kills in 13 matches. The outside attacker had career highs and was in the conference’s top 10 last season with both a .311 attack percentage and a 0.43 aces per game average. In addition, Maxwell holds the program’s career record with 116 aces.

Willima Morris (2018 – present)
Awards and honors:
N/A
Morris set the program’s single-season record and was fourth in the nation with a 1.24 blocks per game average last season. The middle attacker had at least five blocks in nine matches, including a season-high eight blocks in a sweep against Coker. In his freshman season, Morris was third in the ConfCarolinas with a 0.97 blocks per game average and became the first player in program history to have more than 100 blocks.

Brian Long (2018 – present)
Awards and honors:
N/A
Long ended last season fifth in the ConfCarolinas and in the nation’s top 20 with a .368 attack percentage. This was the second consecutive season Long finished in the conference’s top 10 for attack percentage. He also had double-digit kills in four matches, including 13 kills while hitting .632 in a victory against North Greenville. Along with his offensive performance, Long was second on the team with a 0.76 blocks per game average.

Derek Sullivan (2013-16)
Awards and honors:
N/A
Sullivan in his senior season guided the Belmont Abbey offense to a program-record .281 attack percentage and was in the nation’s top 20 averaging 9.64 assists per game. The four-year starter that season also set the program’s single-season record with 1,003 assists as he helped lead the Crusaders to the ConfCarolinas Tournament semifinals. Sullivan defensively had more than 100 digs in all four seasons, including being in the ConfCarolinas top 20 with a career-best 1.57 digs per game average in 2014.

Robert Valentine (2015-18)
Awards and honors:
2018 ConfCarolinas Defensive Player of the Year, 2018 Second-Team All-ConfCarolinas
Valentine in his senior season was fifth in the nation with a 2.75 digs per game average en route to becoming the first Crusader in program history to win the ConfCarolinas Defensive Player of the Year. The libero had double-digit digs in 13 matches, including a season-high 25 digs in a victory against Limestone. Along with his senior season, Valentine as a sophomore was in the top 10 of the ConfCarolinas with a 2.41 digs per game average.

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