Barton volleyball wins 13th straight, maintains Conference Carolinas lead

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The Barton College men’s volleyball team swung its way to a 15-20, 25-19, 25-16, 25-17 victory over Conference Carolinas foe Belmont Abbey on Thursday night in Wilson Gymnasium for its 13th straight win.

The Bulldogs are now 19-3 overall and 13-1 in conference play as they have won 18 of their last 19 contests after starting 0-2. The win also kept them atop the conference standings.

“We know each other well and we know the gameplan,” Barton head coach Jeff Lennox said. “Being on the same page and playing so much together has been a huge part of it. Second part of it is our young guys have come in, they’ve listened really well, they’re smart and they do exactly what we ask them to do.”

The Crusaders (11-10, 6-6 CC) were aggressive from the onset, as they took chances on serve placement to take a 20-15 lead in the first set. Belmont Abbey took the set after Barton made a push, 25-23. But the rest of the match would be all Bulldogs as Lennox said they made a better effort to control the ball after the first set. The Bulldogs proceeded to win the next three sets.

“We started serving a lot better, we controlled the ball better and getting second-chance opportunities,” Lennox said. “Anytime they didn’t pass the ball, I thought we did a really good job at digging in transition and that started with our serving.”

Redshirt junior Oscar Fiorentino led the team in kills and assists with 15 and 39. Senior Vasilis Mandilaris and junior Angelos Mandilaris each had 12 kills. The Bulldogs will be back on the floor Friday to host Queens University of Charlotte at 7 p.m.