Raise the Championship Red: Belmont Abbey beats Mount Olive to win ConfCarolinas title

Photo courtesy of Belmont Abbey athletics

It was still a surreal feeling for setter Brennan Davis even 20 minutes after the match ended.

Four years after traveling across to play for Belmont Abbey, Davis had just helped capture the first conference championship in program history.

Davis had 57 assists and guided the offense to a .333 attack percentage as Belmont Abbey defeated Mount Olive 25-22, 27-25, 23-25, 25-22 in the ConfCarolinas Tournament finals on Sunday in Bristol, Tennessee, to secure a berth to the NCAA Tournament.

Belmont Abbey (15-7, 9-5 ConfCarolinas) hit more than .400 in two of the four games against the ConfCarolinas regular season champions. In addition, the senior defensively contributed two blocks and six digs en route to being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

The Crusaders had two players with at least 20 kills in their first win in three attempts this season versus the Trojans (13-4, 11-2 ConfCarolinas).


Opposite Andrew Kohut finished with a match-high 21 kills on a .351 attack percentage. Outside attacker Matteo Miselli also had 20 kills while hitting .325, including having a team-high six kills in the final game to secure the victory.

Along with the pin-hitters, both of Belmont Abbey’s starting middle attackers committed a combined one attack error. Riley Muklkey had seven kills and zero errors on a .350 attack percentage, while Brian Long had seven kills on a .400 attack percentage.

The two middle attackers each also led Belmont Abbey with four blocks.

Libero Daniel Cerqua defensively had a match-high 14 digs against Mount Olive. In addition, Kohut added 10 digs.

Mount Olive in the loss hit .295 and had a match-best .636 attack percentage in its third-game win. The Trojans, though, were limited to a .105 attack percentage in the fourth game as the Crusaders had five blocks.

Outside attacker Tobi Azeez, the 2021 ConfCarolinas Player of the Year, had a team-high 20 kills and was one two Trojans with double-digit kills. Middle attacker Eric Visgitis had 14 kills on a .462 attack percentage, and middle attacker Luke Visgitis had nine kills while hitting .615.

This is the first time the No. 1 seed has not won the ConfCarolinas Tournament since the conference started receiving an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament in 2014. However, this was the first year the ConfCarolinas Tournament finals was at a predetermined location and not awarded to the regular season champions.

Belmont Abbey won its final two regular season matches to earn the No. 2 seed for the ConfCarolinas Tournament and defeated North Greenville in the semifinals on Saturday to reach the finals for the first time in its program history.

The Crusaders are the first team to secure a berth to the seven-team NCAA Tournament. The team is projected to be placed in the NCAA Tournament play-in match, according to the latest Off the Block bracketology.