Barton’s Angelos Mandilaris (19) goes up for a kill during an April 1 match against King in Wilson Gym. Mandilaris was recently tabbed a freshman All-American by noted college men’s volleyball website Off the Block, giving the Bulldogs their first-ever freshman All-American selection.
Sheldon Vick | Special to the Times
From staff reports
A sensational season for the Barton College men’s volleyball team includes landing its first freshman All-American.
The announcement came Wednesday that Barton’s Angelos Mandilaris is among 11 players from the NCAA Division I and II ranks to be proclaimed freshman All-America by Off the Block/Springbak Inc.
The elite 11 were tabbed by a nationwide voting committee and honors players for regular-season performances.
The 2016-17 season marks the fourth that Off the Block and Springbak have presented the national acclaim and remains the only Freshman All-America team presented in college men’s volleyball.
Mandilaris is the first Bulldog to earn the award. The product of Chalkida, Greece, was a consistent threat for the Bulldogs, totaling 255 kills and ranking among the nation’s Top 25 with 3.45 kills per set. Mandilaris also served for 36 aces and his norm of .49 service aces per set ranks No. 1 nationally among freshmen.
Defensively, Mandilaris amassed 123 digs (1.66 per set) and 39 total blocks in 74 sets. He totaled double-digit kills in 18 of his 21 matches, including a career-high 21 kills in Barton’s 3-2 win against Erskine (South Carolina) College in the Conference Carolinas tournament quarterfinals Tuesday night.
“Angelos is exceptionally deserving of this honor,” stated Barton head coach Jeff Lennox. “He has competed at a consistently distinguished level all season and is a seminal part of our team’s success. He is also a great young man to coach, and I could not be more proud of all he has accomplished so far this season.”
Mandilaris was joined by Erskine outside attacker Isaac Lanier as the only Conference Carolinas freshmen selected.
The Bulldogs, who shared the Conference Carolinas regular-season championship with King (Tennessee) University and claimed the No. 1 tournament seed, currently possess a 21-5 record going into Friday night’s 7:30 semifinal in Wilson Gymnasium against Limestone (South Carolina) College. The championship match is scheduled for Saturday evening in Wilson Gym.
The All-America voting committee was comprised of more than 20 college men’s volleyball head coaches and volleyball reporters from around the nation.
Off the Block is a national award-winning website that launched in 2011 and is regarded the nation’s leader in college men’s volleyball coverage.