by Doug Page
WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College men's volleyball team upped its record in Conference Carolinas play to 12-0 with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-22) victory against North Greenville University on Friday night inside Wilson Gym.
Barton (16-6, 12-0) has now won 21 consecutive league contests dating back to the 2016-17 regular season and is 23-1 at home over the past two seasons. North Greenville (11-12, 5-6) looked to rally in the third set and push the match to a fourth set before the Bulldogs gained momentum back late to secure the win against the Crusaders.
Sophomore Angelos Mandilaris tallied a match-high 18 kills for Barton, while junior Aleksa Brkovic added nine kills and seven digs for the Bulldogs. Junior Vasilis Mandilaris tallied seven kills and six digs for BC, while redshirt sophomore Oscar Fiorentino recorded a match-high 38 assists to go along with six digs. Sophomore Tim Wiese tied a career-high with 10 digs in the contest for Barton.
Aaron Campbell tallied a team-high 10 kills for the Crusaders and added five digs, while Matthew McManaway recorded eight kills for NGU. Jake Boldog notched a team-high 30 assists to go along with four digs, while Dustin King recorded a team-high 10 digs for North Greenville.
Barton used a pair of 3-0 runs to take a 7-2 lead in the opening set and would later take a 10-3 edge following an ace from junior Nick Leary. North Greenville trimmed the deficit to 10-5 until the Mandilaris brothers tallied back-to-back kills to up the lead to 12-5. A pair of attack errors by the Crusaders increased the BC lead to 16-8 and forced NGU to use its second timeout of the set.
NGU went on a 3-0 run to cut the gap to 19-14 but wouldn't be able to get much closer as the teams would trade the last five points with A. Mandilaris tallying a kill to give Barton a 25-20 victory in the set and 1-0 lead in the match.
The Bulldogs would trail early in the second set as NGU took a 5-3 lead before BC used a 5-0 rally to gain an 8-5 edge. Later in the set, the Crusaders cut the gap to 11-10 but would see the Bulldogs go on a 4-0 run to take a 15-10 lead. BC increased its lead in the set to 21-15 as NGU called its second timeout. The Crusaders tallied a pair of points following the break to trim the deficit to 21-17. A. Mandilaris tallied two of the final three points of the set for BC to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead in the match.
North Greenville knotted the third set 4-4 and seemed to have some momentum going until BC countered yet again with a big run. A 4-0 rally helped to give the Bulldogs an 8-4 advantage and lead to a timeout by the Crusaders. Trailing 17-14, NGU battled its way back into the set with a 3-0 rally to knot the score 17-17. BC answered that run with consecutive points to regain a 19-17 lead.
Leading 23-22, the Bulldogs received consecutive kills from A. Mandilaris and senior Michael Perez to secure the 25-22 victory in the set and give Barton a 3-0 sweep of the Crusaders.
Barton hosts Limestone on Saturday at 2 p.m. and will honor its senior class on April 3 against Mount Olive at 7 p.m.