by Cory Guinn
HIGH POINT, N.C. – Barton College men's volleyball players Aleksa Brkovic, Justice Lord, Angelos Mandilaris, Vasilis Mandilaris and Federico Pagliara were recognized as all-conference performers, the league announced Friday. A. Mandilaris was also honored as the league's Freshman of the Year, the second straight Barton player to win the award.
Barton received five all-conference honorees, the most in program history. The all-conference award is the third such honor for Pagliara and the second for V. Mandilaris, while Brkovic, Lord and A. Mandilaris were selected to the team for the first time.
Brkovic, a sophomore from Belgrade, Serbia, was recognized as a First Team All-Conference performer after being a constant contirbutor for the Bulldogs on offense and defense. As an outside hitter, Brkovic totaled 151 kills (2.19/set) and hit at a .352 mark to go along with 26 service aces.
On defense, he racked up 141 digs (2.04/set) after playing libero for a short time and also totaled 25 blocks over 69 sets. He was honored as the league's player of the week following Week 11 of the season and finished the season ranked inside the league's Top 10 for hitting percentage, service aces per set and digs per set.
Lord, a sophomore from Hilo, Hawaii, was selected to the All-Conference Third Team after ranking inside the league's Top 5 for total blocks (75) and blocks per set (0.94). The second-year player also tallied 113 kills and hit .426 across 25 total matches.
A. Mandilaris, a freshman from Chalkida, Greece, was named the league's Freshman of the Year and First Team All-confernece after ranking second on the team and 10th in conference with 255 total kills (3.45/set), while hitting at a .350 percent clip and totaling double-digit kills in 18 matches. He also chipped in 123 digs (1.66/set) on defense and collected a team-high 36 service aces and was selected as Player of the Week following Week 8 of the 2017 season.
V. Mandilaris, a sophomore from Chalkida, Greece, was selected to his second consecutive all-conference team after leading the Bulldogs with 267 kills and ranking fifth in the conference with 3.30 kills per set. He hit at a .322 mark over 81 total sets and recorded 115 digs and 34 service aces.
Pagliara, a senior from Catania, Italy, earned his third all-conference nod after leading all conference players with 10.51 assists per set and fifth overall with 799 total assists. Pagliara also registered 117 digs, 37 total blocks and 15 service aces. He was chosen as the league's Player of the Week after Week 13 of the season, giving Barton three player of the week awards.
After being picked to finish first overall in the league's preseason poll, the Bulldogs did not disappoint and reached the 20-win plateau for the second consecutive year. Barton won a share of the Conference Carolinas Regular Season Championship and earned the No. 1 overall seed in the postseason tournament which continues tonight in Wilson Gymnasium.
Men's Volleyball Offensive Player of the Year
Jeff Sprayberry, King
Men's Volleyball Defensive Player of the Year
Josh Donahue, Mount Olive
Men's Volleyball Freshman of the Year
Angelos Mandilaris, Barton
Men's Volleyball Coach of the Year
Ryan Booher, King
Men's Volleyball All-Conference First Team
Men's Volleyball All-Conference Second Team
Nick Drooker, King
Keenan Freitas, Lees-McRae
Bruno Kretzschmer, Limestone
Dylan Lavner, Limestone
Matthew McManaway, North Greenville
Bret Rutledge, Mount Olive
Jon Wheaton, King
Men's Volleyball All-Conference Third Team
Evan Blair, Pfeiffer
Justice Lord, Barton
Eddie Moushikhian, King
Jimmy Nuckolls, King
Alex Palmatier, Mount Olive
John Sobel, Lees-McRae
Jeff Yasalonis, Mount Olive