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The Barton College men’s volleyball team dropped a set to a conference opponent in its final regular-season home match Tuesday evening, but the winning beat grew louder.
The NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas-leading Bulldogs of head coach Jeff Lennox turned back archrival University of Mount Olive 25-21, 21-25, 25-18, 25-19 to post their 14th conference win without a loss, improved to 18-1 against Division II opposition, extend their winning streak to 13th matches and triumph for the 18th time in the last 19 outings.
Barton notched its 18th win against six losses in a match that included 18 ties and six lead changes. The opening set produced seven deadlocks and the second set five.
Bulldogs sophomore Angelos Mandilaris prowled with 22 of Barton’s 42 kills. Next was junior Aleksa Brkovic with nine.
Junior Nick Leary served for four aces, while redshirt sophomore setter Oscar Fiorentino registered 31 assists. Digs leaders were senior Michael Perez with 12 and Fiorentino with eight.
Barton notched 9.5 team blocks and 17 block assists. Despite losing the second set, Barton hit at a .540 percentage. Barton lost a set to a conference foe for the first time in five matches.
Third-place Mount Olive was paced by Robert Poole with 13 kills, Jeff Yasalonis with 33 assists, Poole with six service aces and Poole and Brad Monaghan with seven digs each.
The Trojans slipped to 10-4 in the league and to 14-11 overall.
With two conference matches remaining and with a one-game lead against runner-up King (Tennessee) University, Barton ends regular-season league competition with matches at King at 7 p.m. Friday and at Lees-McRae College at noon Saturday.