by Cory Guinn
MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. – It took four sets, but the Barton men's volleyball team took down rival University of Mount Olive 3-1 (25-20 25-14, 14-15, 25-13) on Wednesday night in Kornegay Arena.
Barton improved to 9-4 overall and 8-2 in Conference Carolinas after hitting .356 as a team and recording 10 total blocks in handing Mount Olive its first league loss of the season. The Trojans (9-6, 8-1) hit just .183 on offense, its lowest percentage since the first game of the year.
The Bulldogs began the match with a 10-3 lead behind a service run of six points from sophomore Vasilis Mandilaris that included two aces.
Mount Olive fought back to trail 20-15 following a Barton attack error. After four unanswered points from UMO, the Trojans committed a costly service error to give Barton the set win.
Momentum carried over into the second set of play for Barton as the team led early once again, this time by a score of 7-3. The Trojans were never able to get within three points of the Bulldog lead as the Royal Blue and White rattled off four consecutive points to end the set and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set of play was controlled from the start by Mount Olive, which led 18-12 after a Barton service error. The Bulldogs scored twice to cut the deficit to four before the Trojans rallied for a 7-0 run to take the set.
In the fourth set, Barton claimed a 6-1 lead, eventually using a 10-1 run to build 16-5 advantage after a kill from freshman Angelos Mandilaris. A kill from sophomore Nick Leary ended the match with Barton ahead to secure the victory.
Angelos Mandilaris led all players with 16 kills and hit .414 to go along with eight digs. Vasilis Mandilaris followed with 13 kills, seven digs and three service aces, while Leary finished with eight kills of his own.
Senior Federico Pagliara turned in his first double-double performance of the season with 42 assists and a game-high 14 digs, as senior Jonathan Novoa-Miralles registered nine digs in his first game as the team's libero.
Barton hosts non-conference foe Coker College on Friday, February 24 with first serve set for 7 p.m. in Wilson Gymnasium.