by Cory Guinn
BELMONT, N.C. – The Barton College men's volleyball team began Conference Carolinas play with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-17) victory over Belmont Abbey College on Tuesday night inside Wheeler Center.
Barton (2-0, 1-0) committed just seven errors as a team in the match to record a .535 hitting percentage, the highest single game mark in the program's history. In contrast, Belmont Abbey was held to a .200 hitting percentage.
The Bulldogs set the tone early in the match, opening the first set of play with a 10-4 run. BC led by as many as eight points late in the frame and went ahead 1-0 with a 25-17 win after totaling 18 kills on 19 attempts without an error.
Belmont Abbey responded with an early 8-6 lead in the second set of the match, however, a kill from sophomore Vasilis Mandilaris and three consecutive errors by the Crusaders put Barton in front 10-8. The Bulldogs never trailed again in the match, winning the second and third sets of play to seal the straight-set victory.
Sophomore Aleksa Brkovic led the Bulldogs with 15 kills and a .545 hitting percentage, while freshman Angelos Mandilaris hit .533 with 10 kills. Sophomore middle Nick Leary had eight kills without an error as Vasilis Mandilaris chipped in seven kills of his own. Senior setter Federico Pagliara recorded a match-high 37 assists in the win.
Barton continues its five-game road trip with two more conference tilts this weekend. BC travels to North Greenville University on Friday, Jan. 20 before heading to Gaffney, S.C. to take on Limestone College on Saturday, Jan. 21.