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Bulldogs staggered by then survive Erskine

Barton to host Limestone in CC semis

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Staggered in the opening set, the top-seeded Barton College men’s volleyball team recovered to outlast No. 8-seeded Erskine (South Carolina) College by a 23-25, 25-18, 25-21, 22-25, 15-11 count in an NCAA Division II Conferences Carolinas tournament quarterfinal in Wilson Gymnasium on Tuesday evening.

The Bulldogs, who shared regular-season supremacy with King (Tennessee) University, advanced into the semifinals to oppose Limestone (South Carolina) College at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Friday’s semifinals and Saturday’s championship match will all be hosted by Barton in Wilson Gymnasium.

Barton, in defeating Erskine for the third time this season, climbed to 21-5, while the Flying Fleet bowed out with a 4-21 mark.

The Bulldogs squandered a 13-9 margin in the opening set.

Barton responded by netting the first four points of the second set and extended its lead to 18-12 on a Nick Leary ace. An Erskine service error ended the set.

In the third set, the Bulldogs grabbed the early lead and maintained it. Vasilis Mandilaris’ kill sent Barton to a 2-1 edge in sets.

In the back-and-fourth set No. 4, Barton constructed a 15-9 margin with four consecutive points. The Fleet battled to a 19-19 tie and reclaimed the lead on a Barton attack error. Erskine forced the fifth set by tallying three of the final four points.

In the fifth set, Barton jumped to a 6-2 margin and extended the advantage to 12-5 on ace from Vasilis Mandilaris. The Fleet crept within two points with a 6-1 spree. However, back-to-back kills from Barton’s Brkovic ended the marathon. The Bulldogs had survived a scare.

The Bulldogs registered 58 kills, led by freshman Angelos Mandilaris with 21. Sophomore Vasilis Mandilaris contributed 15 kills and sophomore Aleksa Brkovic added 12. Brkovic also served for three of Barton’s eight aces.

Senior Federico Pagliara responded with 54 assists. Barton amassed 35 digs, led by senior Jay Novoa Miralles with nine. Pagliara had eight and Vasilis Mandilaris seven. Barton managed seven team blocks.

Erskine leaders were Daniel Fralix with 16 kills, Andres Talavera with 50 assists and four aces and Bryan Cardoza with 12 digs. The Fleet totaled eight team blocks and hit for a .277 percentage. The Bulldogs wound up with a .365 percentage.

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