The addition of a transfer player during the offseason made all the difference in Belmont Abbey clinching a spot in the ConfCarolinas Tournament semifinals.
Outside attacker Matteo Miselli finished with a match-high 19 kills on a .344 attack percentage as Belmont Abbey rallied to beat North Greenville 19-25, 25-22, 25-22, 25-22 on Tuesday in Belmont, North Carolina.
Both Belmont Abbey (13-7, 9-5 ConfCarolinas) and North Greenville (12-4, 7-4 ConfCarolinas) entered this regular season finale that was a de facto seeding match with the winner earning the No. 2 seed in the ConfCarolinas Tournament and a double-bye in the semifinals.
Miselli, who arrived to Belmont Abbey after earning Freshman All-American honors with Tusculum last season, was one of two Crusaders with double-digit kills in the home victory. Opposite Andrew Kohut contributed 11 kills and now has double-digit kills in six of the final seven regular season matches.
Miselli and Kohut each added a team-high three aces against North Greenville.
Along with these two Crusaders, middle attacker Brian Long had nine kills while hitting .429. The senior also had a match-high five blocks.
Setter Brennan Davis had 44 assists and guided the offense to out-hit North Greenville .250 to .211, including Belmont Abbey having a match-best .379 attack percentage in the final game to secure the victory.
Davis also led all players defensively with 11 digs.
Outside attacker Jackson Gilbert in the loss led North Greenville with both three aces and 19 kills but was limited to a .173 attack percentage. Gilbert was the only North Greenville player to have more than six kills.
North Greenville with this loss will be the No. 3 seed for the ConfCarolinas Tournament and in the quarterfinals will play the winner of the Erskine versus Emmanuel play-in match. Despite the regular season finale loss, this is the highest seed for North Greenville in its program history and the quarterfinals will be its first home postseason match in program history.
Belmont Abbey as the No. 2 seed will play the winner of the quarterfinals match featuring North Greenville. This is the highest conference tournament seed for Belmont Abbey in its program history and the second time the program has reached the semifinals.