Barton bumped from conference tournament in straight sets by defending champs

Barton bumped from conference tournament in straight sets by defending champs

by Benny Benton

DUE WEST, S.C. – The Barton College men's volleyball team ran into an opponent that could do no wrong Saturday night in the first round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament.

Host and No. 2 seed Erskine College went through the second set without an error and had just eight hitting errors for the entire match in easily downing the seventh-seeded Bulldogs, 25-18, 25-17, 25-13.

The Fleet, the defending tournament champions, hit a torrid .452 for the contest, the highest percentage against Barton since NCAA Division I Ball State University hit .475 in the first match of the season. By contrast, Barton hit just .083, its lowest average in nine matches.

Erskine's Mike Michelau had 13 kills and one error in 19 attempts for a .632 percentage. Roberto Perez added 13 kills while hitting .407 and Omar Melendez chipped in eight while hitting .545.

Barton was paced by nine kills from junior Pierre Tang-Taye, who finished the year with a school-record 455. Seniors Tanner Medina and Brennan O'Connor contributed six and five kills, respectively, in their final match for the Bulldogs, and sophomore Chad Stanback Jr. added five as well.

Senior Mike McMahon collected six digs during his final appearance in the Royal Blue and White. McMahon, who surpassed the NCAA Division I-II career digs record for the 25-point rally scoring era on April 4, finished his career with 1,042. He completed the 2015 season with 375, which is a single-season NCAA record for the era.

The Bulldogs concluded their fourth season of men's volleyball competition with a 13-18 record.

Erskine, which improved to 11-1 at home this season and 8-0 all-time against Barton, advances to the semifinals, which will be held at top-seeded Pfeiffer University.