by Cory Guinn
COLUMBUS, OHIO. – The 2017 season came to an end for the Barton men's volleyball team following a 3-0 (25-19, 25-11, 25-15) loss to No. 4 Brigham Young University in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday night in St. John Arena.
Barton, the tournament's No. 6 seed, and BYU, the No. 3 overall seed, played to seven total ties in the opening set of play as the two sides were locked in an 8-8 tie early on. A brief 5-1 run gave the Cougars all the breathing room they would need, leading to a six-point win.
The second set saw BYU led from the start, opening with an 8-1 lead following a kill from Jake Longlois. The Cougars cruised to a convincing 25-11 win after hitting .692 in the frame while forcing the Bulldogs to commit as many errors as the team had kills.
In the third and final set of play, Barton and BYU played to eight total ties on the scoreboard and four lead changes. A kill from freshman Angelos Mandilaris tied the set for the final time at 10-all before the Cougars scored three unanswered points to take the lead for good.
A. Mandilaris finished with eight kills as did sophomore Aleksa Brkovic who chipped in seven digs on defense. Fellow sophomore Vasilis Mandilaris followed with six kills of his own. Senior setter Federico Pagliara had 25 assists in the match, while fellow senior Jonathan Novoa-Miralles finished with seven digs from his libero position.
The Bulldogs finish the season with a 23-6 overall record, setting a program benchmark for wins in a single season and winning its first ever Conference Carolinas Championship.