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BRISTOL, Tenn. — For the third year in a row, Barton College and King University appear destined to share the NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas men’s volleyball regular-season title.
The Bulldogs saw their 14-match winning streak halted in a four-set loss Friday night at King. The Bulldogs, now 20-4 overall, dropped into a tie with Tornado, 17-9 overall, for first place with both teams at 13-2 after King’s 25-23, 23-25, 25-18, 25-20 win. Barton owns the tiebreaker edge, having defeated the Tornado in three sets when the teams played in Wilson on Feb. 15.
The Bulldogs can clinch a share of the title Saturday when they visit Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk. The Tornado hosts University of Mount Olive on Saturday.
Senior outside hitter Vasilis Mandilaris and brother junior middle blocker Angelos Mandilaris had 17 and 16 kills, respectively, for Barton. Junior setter Oscar Fiorentino distributed 47 assists.
The Bulldogs hit just .244 for the match, well below their season average of .336, and committed 17 service errors.
Lady Bulldogs swept at home by Erskine
A doubleheader sweep at the hands of visiting Erskine College on Friday extended the Barton softball team’s losing streak to seven games.
The Lady Bulldogs were blanked 4-0 in the first game and fell 9-2 in the second at Jeffries Field to drop to 15-26 overall and 4-10 in Conference Carolinas play. Barton, which has lost 13 out of 16 since a four-game winning streak in mid-March, sunk to 10th place in the 11-team league, two spots away from the last berth for the postseason conference tournament.
The Flying Fleet, currently in second place, rose to 24-11 overall and 9-3 in CC games.
Starting pitcher Makayla Meeks (3-9) was the tough-luck loser in game 1, giving up four runs on four hits and a walk over four innings. Erskine third baseman Shi Cain hammered two-run home run in the first inning and the Fleet added two more runs in the fourth.
Erskine starting pitcher Morgan Hendrix (12-5) gave up just two hits -— singles in the third inning by Kelsey Carroll and Sidney Gronowski.
In the second game, Erskine picked at Barton pitchers Teagan Crosby (3-4) and Sierra Hearp for 10 hits and six walks while the Lady Bulldogs made three errors.
Allison Neeley doubled, tripled and homered for the Fleet while Jessica Onega had two of Barton’s six hits.
The Lady Bulldogs will honor their six seniors — Hannah Jones, Taylor Martin, Samantha Santmyers, Crosby, Meeks and Onega — at Saturday’s Senior Day doubleheader against Emmanuel at Jeffries Field, starting at noon.