WILSON, N.C. – The Barton men's volleyball team (0-2) put up a valiant fight but ultimately fell to No. 1 Long Beach State (5-0), 3-0, Friday night at Wilson Gymnasium. The 49ers, the defending NCAA Division I National Champions, won by scores of 25-17, 25-18 and 25-21.
Long Beach State was led by T.J. DeFalco (Huntington Beach, Calif.) with 14 kills and nine digs while Louis Richard (Los Angeles, Calif.) added 11 kills in the triumph. The 49ers' Josh Tuaniga (Long Beach, Calif.) tallied 40 assists as well as Long Beach State hit .434 in the contest.
Barton started out strong – jumping out to a 7-3 advantage to begin the match in the first set – before Long Beach State settled in. Barton was led by freshman outside hitter Adrian Iglesias (Guaynabo, PUERTO RICO) with a team-high 11 kills and junior right side hitter Angelos Mandilaris (Chalkida, GREECE) with seven kills in the losing effort.
Junior setter Oscar Fiorentino (Bayamon, PUERTO RICO) totaled 20 assists for the Bulldogs, who also jumped out to a 14-12 advantage to begin the third set. Barton was playing its second NCAA Division I opponent in as many games so far this year.
Barton hits the road to take on No. 15 Grand Canyon University on Friday, January 18, at 3:00 p.m., as part of the Grow The Game Challenge in Lebanon, Tenn. Long Beach State, meanwhile, faces UCLA in Los Angeles, Calif., on Saturday, January 19, starting at 7:00 p.m.