Barton beats Abbey for 11th straight win

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Senior Miranda Miller patrolled the outside for 22 kills, and freshman sensation Kaytlin Elkins supplemented the effort with 12 kills as the Barton College women’s volleyball team won its 11th straight match Saturday with a 25-22, 25-17, 19-25, 25-20 victory over NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas opponent Belmont Abbey in Wilson Gym.

Barton, which remains undefeated in conference play, vaulted to 14-6 overall and won its ninth Conference Carolinas match in securing the season sweep of the Crusaders. Belmont Abbey fell to 9-8, 5-3 within the conference. 

The Lady Bulldogs hit .168 in the match, peaking at .257 in the fourth and clinching set. Junior setter Angelica Acevedo ran the Barton offense with 36 assists.

Miller’s 22 digs represented a career high, while also adding 12 digs for a double-double. Freshman Allie Owen paced the Barton defense, adding 23 digs. 

Barton and Belmont Abbey stayed even through much of the first set, proceeding to an 18-18 tie. However, the Lady Bulldogs used a 4-0 run to gain a bit of separation, and Elkins finished off the opening set with a kill for the early Barton lead.

Miller came to life a bit in the second set, putting down consecutive kills to make it 4-0 Barton. Another Miller kill extended the Lady Bulldogs’ advantage to 7-1. 

Belmont Abbey, which was hampered by going -.051 on the attack in the second set, was doubled up at 20-10 on a kill from Elkins. Yet Miller was the final voice in the second set, with her kill ending matters and placing the Lady Bulldogs up by two sets.

Belmont Abbey staved off a sweep in the third set, jumping out to a lead and holding it. Barton closed late to within 21-19, but the Crusaders forced a fourth set with a closing 4-0 run.

Barton trailed 17-16 in the fourth set. However, the Lady Bulldogs surged ahead with a 5-0 run, and Miller closed the match with three more kills to end it.

The Lady Bulldogs will be home to a pair of opponents next Saturday, hosting archrival University of Mount Olive at noon before welcoming Shaw for a nonconference encounter at 4.