Former Southern Volleyballer Liam Maxwell Eclipses 1,000 Kills at Belmont Abbey

Mar 20, 2019
Courtesy of: Belmont Abbey Athletics Former Southern Regional volleyball player Liam Maxwell on March 18 cleared 1,000 career kills during Belmont Abbey’s loss to NJIT.

As of Monday night, Liam Maxwell was among nine men’s volleyball players at the NCAA Division I or II levels with more than 1,000 kills for their careers. Maxwell is the only junior. The rest are seniors.

“It’s awesome,” said the former Southern Regional outside hitter, after he passed the 1,000 mark with 10 kills during Belmont Abbey College’s 12-25, 17-25, 21-25 loss to NJIT March 18. “The guys who are in that active group are great players, and I watch what a lot of them do and try to model my game after some of those big guys at Long Beach State and such. And the fact I’m in that company means a lot for our conference and the smaller schools throughout the country.”

With 714 career kills entering this season, it wasn’t a matter of whether Maxwell would clear the 1,000 mark, but more of a question of how soon – as long as he stayed healthy. He reached the milestone in the Crusaders’ 17th contest.

“I didn’t feel a lot of pressure leading up to this,” he said. “When I came here, the goal was to put up big numbers and win matches. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to stay healthy and play in every match, and all those numbers add up.”

So far this season, Maxwell has tallied 292 kills in 671 attempts with 103 digs and 25 aces. Following Monday’s loss, Maxwell is averaging 17.2 kills per match. Belmont Abbey has a 9-8 overall record and has gone 4-5 in Conference Carolinas thus far.

“The most important thing for me is to make sure my teammates get the credit they deserve, because without them I’m not getting all those kills or scoring most of the points I’ve scored,” he said. “Without my setters, the ball’s not in position for me to finish. Without the back-row guys, the ball doesn’t even get to the setters up front. And if we’re getting aced on service attempts, the ball doesn’t work through our offense for me to even have a chance to score.”

Interestingly, Belmont Abbey’s starting setter is somebody very familiar to Maxwell – former Southern setter Brennan Davis, who followed Maxwell to North Carolina last year. Even more interesting is the fact that head coach Nolan Albrecht not only played for Belmont Abbey, but he also is the program’s career kills leader with 1,185.

“He’s been very supportive of me and he knows I’m eventually going to break his record,” Maxwell said of Albrecht, who graduated from Belmont Abbey the year before Maxwell arrived. “He’s still young, and he gets out there for practice with us and helps me a lot. He was something special as a player, and I’m really fortunate to be able to learn from him. He’s seen me through a lot of my kills and his coaching has helped me get a lot of them.”

With at least nine matches left in the season, Maxwell has a shot to break Albrecht’s record this season. He’s also chasing Albrecht in several other categories, including total points, while Maxwell already owns the career mark for service aces with 98.

Still, Monday evening, Maxwell was most thankful to not have to get up early for class on Tuesday – Belmont Abbey is on spring break this week.

“My parents came down here for this, and some of the others guys’ parents did, too, so we’re enjoying the time to hang out with our families in between matches,” he said. “And it’s great to not have to worry about class as well. I can sit back tonight and appreciate that I’ve been fortunate to reach one milestone in my college career.”

— David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

(Courtesy of: Belmont Abbey Athletics)
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