by Cory Guinn
FAIRFAX, VA. – The Barton men's volleyball team trailed 2-0, but battled back to force a fifth and final set, ultimately falling 3-2 (25-12, 25-21, 21-25, 21-25, 17-15) to George Mason University on Friday night inside the Recreation Athletic Complex.
George Mason (9-11) which competes in the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association, hit .353 as a team in the match, committing just four attack error over the first two sets to build an early 2-0 match lead.
However, Barton (14-5) responded with back-to-back wins in the third and fourth set to force a deciding fifth set of play. After a back-and-forth start to the third set, BC closed the frame with four unanswered points to keep the match alive.
In the fourth set, the Bulldogs jumped out to a commanding 8-3 advantage, forcing the Patriots to call a timeout. But the Barton lead held strong throughout the remainder of the set as GMU was able to close the gap to a one-point deficit three times down the stretch.
The Patriots opened the final set with a 4-1 run before the Bulldogs gathered themselves and eventually tied the score at 8-8 on a George Mason attack error. Barton tied the score twice more at 14-14 and 15-15, but consecutive kills for the home team put the match to an end.
Sophomore Vasilis Mandilaris led BC with 15 kills and a .321 hitting percentage, while younger brother Angelos Mandilaris had 15 kills of his own to go with five total blocks. Sophomore Aleksa Brkovic turned in his first double-double of the season with 13 kills and 10 digs.
Barton travels to Misenheimer, N.C. tomorrow for a Conference Carolinas match with Pfeiffer University. First serve is scheduled for 4 p.m.