Bulldogs earn a share of regular season conference title with 3-0 win over Mount Olive on Senior Day

Seniors (L-R) Juan Varona, Jonathan Novoa-Miralles and Federico Pagliara were honored in a pre-match ceremony before Tuesday's contest against rival University of Mount Olive. | Photo by Cory Guinn
Seniors (L-R) Juan Varona, Jonathan Novoa-Miralles and Federico Pagliara were honored in a pre-match ceremony before Tuesday's contest against rival University of Mount Olive. | Photo by Cory Guinn
by Cory Guinn

WILSON, N.C. – The Barton men's volleyball dispatched the Trojans of rival University of Mount Olive 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-13) on Tuesday night to claim a share of the Conference Carolinas Regular Season Championship.

The Bulldogs (20-5, 16-2) share the regular season title with King (Tenn.) University but Barton holds the tiebreaker, making them the No. 1 overall seed in the upcoming Conference Carolinas Tournament. The regular season championship is the first in the six-year history of the men's volleyball program.

Barton honored its three-member senior class of Jonathan Novoa-Miralles, Federico Pagliara and Juan Varona in a pre-match ceremony before making quick work of the Trojans (16-9, 14-4) in the first set of action. Mount Olive with be the tournament's No. 3 seed in the postseason.

Mount Olive held a slim 14-13 lead midway through the second set of play before a 6-2 run by the Bulldogs put the home ahead 19-16 following back-to-back kills from freshman Angelos Mandilaris and sophomore Justice Lord. The Barton lead held for the final six as a service ace by sophomore Nick Leary ended the frame.

The Royal Blue and White was in control early in the third and final set, never trailing en route to a 12-point victory. Barton forced the Trojans into a -.138 hitting percentage in the set.

For the match, Barton compiled a .338 hitting percentage and totaled 10 blocks, while forcing Mount Olive to hit just .045, its second-lowest mark of the year. The BC defense forced UMO's Robert Poole, the third-leading hitter in the conference, to commit six errors and turn in a -.100 hitting percentage.

Pagliara led the offense with a double-double, totaling 28 assists and 10 digs to go along with two service aces. A. Mandilaris led all players with 10 kills, while sophomore Aleksa Brkovic had nine kills and six total blocks.

Sophomore Vasilis Mandilaris followed with eight kills and seven digs, as Lord had five kills and a .571 hitting percentage. Leary chipped in six total blocks of his own, including two of the solo variety.

The Bulldogs will have a week to prepare for its next opponent, No. 8 seed Erskine College, in the Conference Carolinas Quarterfinals on Tuesday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m. in Wilson Gymnasium.