Defending ConfCarolinas champs Belmont Abbey stifle Long Island in season opener

Photo courtesy of the Belmont Abbey athletics

There was no postseason hangover for outside attacker Matteo Miselli.

Miselli finished with a match-high 13 kills on a .478 attack percentage as the defending ConfCarolinas champions Belmont Abbey swept Long Island 25-17, 25-16, 25-15 in its season opener on Monday in Belmont, North Carolina.

This was Miselli’s first appearance since having a combined 49 kills in three postseason matches last season.

Miselli in the 2021 ConfCarolinas Tournament had back-to-back 20 kill performances and hit more than .300 to help the Crusaders win their first conference title in program history. The outside attacker also had nine kills on a .316 attack percentage against Penn State in the NCAA Tournament play-in match.


First-year starting setter Matthew Maxwell guided the Crusaders to a .400 attack percentage versus Long Island, including the team hitting a match-best .438 in the final game.

The Crusaders had three players hit more than .400 and have at least five kills in the opener of this two-match series. Along with Miselli, outside attacker Jake Somers had seven kills on a .417 attack percentage and middle attacker Riley Mulkey had five kills and zero errors to hit a perfect 1.000 percent.

Mulkey also had a match-high five blocks, while Miselli added four blocks.

Long Island playing in the program’s inaugural match never led at any point against Belmont Abbey and was limited to a negative-.074 attack percentage.

Outside attacker Jordan Cooper led the first-year program with eight kills and was the only Long Island player with more than three kills.

Despite the loss, middle attacker Eddy Alexandre finished with a match-high three aces.

Belmont Abbey and Long Island will conclude their non-conference series on Tuesday.