MISENHEIMER, N.C. - Laura Fortner slammed home the game-winning kill in the fifth set as the Pfeiffer women's volleyball team (1-21, 1-13 CC) shocked Belmont Abbey (13-14, 9-5) on Friday night inside Merner Gym. Three Falcons reached double digit kills and freshman Shenelle Charlot recorded her first career double-double to lead Pfeiffer passed the Crusaders, knocking Abbey out of first place in the North Division of the conference standings.
Charlot and Kelsey Blauser each recorded a match-high 14 kills and Kelly Lancellot finished with 12 kills in the victory. Charlot added a team-high 16 digs for the double-double.
Haley Denny had 14 digs and Anna Tomkins finished the evening with 28 assists, 10 digs and five service aces.
After dropping the first set, Pfeiffer outlasted Belmont Abbey in the second. The Falcons erased a late 22-19 deficit and fought off two set point attempts from the guests. With the score evened at 25 apiece, Fortner gave the Falcons their first set point opportunity with a big kill. Blauser cemented the set two victory off an assist from Tomkins.
The Crusaders took the third set 25-19 thanks to 9-2 run to close out the frame. Pfeiffer would rebound in set four as the Falcons ran out to an early 7-2 lead. Belmont Abbey rallied and took a 19-17 lead but the Falcons were undeterred. A service error and attack error from the Crusaders gave Pfeiffer the narrow 25-23 win, setting the stage for a dramatic fifth stanza.
It went the Crusaders way early as they jumped out to a 5-3 lead before three straight Falcon points put them in the lead. Pfeiffer surged out to a 10-6 lead but the Crusaders refused to go down easily. They mounted another rally and took a 12-11 advantage, forcing Paul Lawson to call a timeout. Again, Pfeiffer was forced to overcome two match points before Haley Denny served two straight points to put Pfeiffer up 15-14. Belmont Abbey evened the score at 15 but gave the Falcons reclaimed the lead on a service error. On match point, Tomkins set up Fortner for the most dramatic kill of the season.
Pfeiffer hit .154 for the night and recorded 57 kills and 13 service aces. Blauser led the way with a .407 hitting percentage and McKenzie McDonald posted a .267 percentage. The 13 team aces is easily a season high, topping the previous mark of nine on Sept. 9 at Catawba.
The Falcons look to keep the momentum rolling in their next match against St. Augustine's on Sunday afternoon as Pfeiffer hosts Senior Day. The match is set to begin a 2 p.m.