Bulldogs sweep Lees-McRae, but get No. 2 seed in CC tourney

Barton Roundup

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BANNER ELK — The Barton College men’s volleyball team polished off its regular season Saturday afternoon by cruising to a 25-18, 26-24, 25-15 victory over host Lees-McRae College — a result that allowed the Bulldogs to share the regular-season championship with King University.

However, Friday night’s four-set loss to the Tornado in Bristol, Tenn. exposed the Bulldogs (19-7, 15-1 Conference Carolinas) to the No. 4 tiebreaker in the NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas standings.

With King’s three-set victory over the University of Mount Olive on Saturday, both the Tornado and Bulldogs finished 15-1, with each team prevailing on their respective home floors.

Thus, with the first three tiebreakers insufficient to determine the No. 1 overall seed for the Conference Carolinas tournament, the process moved to the No. 4 criterion — percentage of sets won in conference matches. There, King held the edge, having lost six sets in league play to Barton’s eight. Barton will be the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament, which will begin for the Bulldogs on Tuesday, April 17 against the No. 7 seed yet to be determined in Wilson Gym. Should King defeat the No. 8 seed in the quarterfinal, it would then host the remainder of the tournament, including the semifinals and finals.

Against Lees-McRae (3-21, 1-14 CC), the Bulldogs were not threatened in the first and third sets, outhitting the Bobcats .371-.239. Sophomore Angelos Mandilaris led Barton with 14 kills, while junior Aleksa Brkovic had seven.

Oscar Fiorentino ran the Barton offense from his setters position, notching 26 assists.

The second set featured 15 ties and five lead changes, with the teams exchanging points throughout. Barton staved off a match point at 24-23 with the first of three consecutive kills from Mandilaris. Brkovic set the final two points. The Bulldogs never trailed in the third set, racing out to a 21-11 lead and securing the sweep on Brkovic’s kill.

It’s the second straight season that Barton, which will bid for its second straight tournament title and third consecutive appearance in the finals, has either shared or won the league title outright.



Clemmons, Lagat lead BC

HIGH POINT — Senior Joel Lagat, in his event debut, broke the Barton College school record on his way to a fifth-place finish in the VertKlasse Meeting at High Point University on Saturday.

Lagat, by finishing in a time of 9:58.64, broke the previous record of 10:30.18 set by Austin Edmonds in 2014.

Top-five showings were turned in by sophomore Micah Clemons in the javelin throw with his fourth-place attempt of 44.48 meters, a school record. Clemmons was fifth in the shot put, hurling a season best 14.15 meters.

In the 400-meter run, senior Aaron Jones and junior Nihgel Scott were fourth and fifth, respectively. Jones turned in a time of 48.56 seconds, with Scott following in fifth at 49.09.

Larry Russell finished fifth in the 110-meter high hurdles, turning in a wind-aided time of 15.33.

Jones, Russell and Scott, along with Collin Wilks, were fifth in the 4x100-meter relay in 42.59. A runner-up showing was posted by Qasim Ray, Jones, Scott and Wilks in the 4x400-meter relay, as the quartet finished in 3:20.98.

On the women’s side, sophomores Meghan Araldi and Janae Cunningham set new Barton records.

Araldi posted a time of 12:23.86 in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to finish fifth, breaking her own school record of 12:55.02 set in the opening meet of the season. Cunningham replaced her own record in the javelin, throwing the object 30.97 meters. Cunningham’s previous best was 30.48 meters, set last season.

Freshman Jasmine Watson was fourth in the 100-meter hurdles, finishing in a wind-aided time of 14.62 seconds. 

Barton visits Elon University next week to compete in the Phoenix Invitational.


Abbey shuts down Lady Bulldogs, 20-4 

BELMONT — A pair of runs from host Belmont Abbey were more than enough to keep the Lady Bulldogs at bay Saturday afternoon as Barton bowed to the Crusaders 20-4 in Conference Carolinas action.

Barton (5-7, 3-4 CC) fell down 9-0 in the first half before freshman Kayli Ashenfelter scored the first of three straight goals for the Lady Bulldogs with 10:48 before halftime.

Ashenfelter added two more to give her 30 goals for the season before classmate Angelina Scarpa netted her 17th goal of 2018.

However, Belmont Abbey (10-3, 6-1 CC) replied with an 11-0 run the rest of the way, the first two goals coming in the final 97 seconds of the first half.

Abbey’s Rebecca Luca, the league’s leader in goals and points, had five goals and six assists for the Crusaders. Luca now boasts 61 goals and 89 points this season.

Freshman Katherine Mattena had nine saves and retrieved four ground balls for the Lady Bulldogs.

Barton, which played in its final regular-season road match, finished its home slate with three matches at home. The Lady Bulldogs welcome Emmanuel College on Saturday.


BC men split weekend pair

After a 5-4 loss at King on Saturday in which the Bulldogs dropped the first five points of the match, Barton roared back on the second leg of its western conference road trip and defeated Lees-McRae College by an 8-1 count.

Against Lees-McRae, Barton (4-11, 2-5 CC) swept the doubles contests, with Jesus Gil-Martjin Eleveld at No. 1 and Ermanno Galimberti-Rory Gaydon at No. 2 winning by 8-2 and 8-1 margins, respectively.

In the final contest, Diego Agudelo-Oscar Marmestedt prevailed by default.

Barton’s only loss came at No. 1 singles, where Gaydon was forced to retire to Gabriel Muniz of Lees-McRae after losing the opening set, 6-1. Outside of that, all five Bulldogs in singles bouts prevailed in straight sets.

Agudelo at No. 2, Alessandro Gerbino at No. 3, Hugh Ryder at No. 4 and Eleveld at No. 5 were all victorious, with Lisandro Torresani getting a default win at No. 6.

Eleveld dispatched the Bobcats’ Colton Porter by a 6-0, 6-0 margin, while Ryder outclassed LMC’s Rusty Batten 6-1, 6-0.

Versus King, the Nos. 3-6 positions in the Barton order won after the outcome was decided. Agudelo at No. 3, Gil at No. 4, Gerbino at No. 5 and Galimberti at No. 6 all walked away with victories at Bristol Racquet Club.

Gil and Galimberti won in eight-game pro sets.


Lady Bulldogs win at King, LMC

A sweep of weekend play for the Lady Bulldogs has Barton tied for third place in the Conference Carolinas standings after matching 9-0 road sweeps of King and Lees-McRae.

Now above the .500 mark at 10-9 overall, the Lady Bulldogs, 6-2 in conference play, Barton held off two challenges at the top of the doubles order, with Daria Avram-Marissa Stevenson edging LMC’s Sandy Allen-Mackenzie Langmade 8-7 at No. 1 doubles. In the No. 2 spot, Vanessa Sanoja-Ada Vargas prevailed 8-5, while Claudia Capellades-Whitney Hamilton eased by Dakota Tittle-Emily Harrison 8-2 at No. 3.

Two three-set matches went Barton’s way at Nos. 1 and 2 singles. On the showcase singles court, Avram dropped the first set to Allen before responding with a 3-6, 7-6, 6-2 win. Sanoja outlasted Langmade 6-1, 2-6, 7-6 in the No. 2 spot. Stevenson dropped just one game at No. 3 in her 6-1, 6-0 conquest of Jaden Acklin.

Pro-sets played after the outcome was decided were claimed by Barton’s Vargas at No. 4 singles, Capellades at No. 5 and Hamilton at No. 6.

On Saturday, Barton was not tested in moving past a winless King squad.

Avram-Stevenson and Capellades-Hamilton won by 8-0 margins at Nos. 1 and 3 doubles. Sanoja-Vargas prevailed 8-1 at the No. 2 doubles spot.

In singles, Avram, Sanoja, Stevenson, Vargas, Capellades and Hamilton swept the lineup in order. Sanoja defeated Isla Bell of King 6-0, 6-0 in her match at No. 2 singles. Capellades won 8-0 in a pro set after the outcome was clinched against King’s Morgan Buchanan.

Both Barton teams return home Wednesday to face Belmont Abbey.


Barton holds on to 8th in CC race

BANNER ELK — Currently situated in the eighth and final spot for the Conference Carolinas tournament, Barton did nothing to jeopardize its position following a Sunday doubleheader split with Lees-McRae.

Junior Hannah Jones fired a five-hit shutout in the opening contest, and a pair of first-inning runs were sufficient for the Lady Bulldogs to post a 2-0 victory before the hosts responded with a 9-1, six-inning win in the second contest to salvage a split.

Barton moved to 18-20 overall and 4-6 in conference play, while Lees-McRae, situated in third place, departed 13-17 in all games and 8-2 within the league.

The Lady Bulldogs picked up both first-inning runs after leadoff batter Sierra Hearp reached on an error, followed by Taylor Martin beating out a bunt single. After a wild pitch moved both runners up, Hearp scored on a passed ball.

Freshman Jordan Blake’s RBI single plated Martin for the second run.

Jones, now 8-7 on the year, struck out four and walked one, finishing her seventh complete game and second shutout of 2018. Kara Cunningham was the loser for LMC, striking out six and walking two.

However, the Lees-McRae bats ignited in the second game against Hearp.

In the bottom of the second, a leadoff walk and an error put two runners on before back-to-back doubles from Cunningham and Noel Cassidy put LMC out in front 3-0.

Barton got one back in the third after Hearp singled, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a bad throw off a sacrifice bunt.

LMC separated in the fourth with five runs on five hits. Cassidy smashed an RBI triple, and Caitlyn Ray’s two-run homer made it 7-1 Bobcats.

In the sixth, the game was halted early due to the eight-run mercy rule after Emily Merria’s two-run shot over the left-field fence.

Brittany Jacobs tallied two of Barton’s three hits. Cunningham won the second contest for Lees-McRae, striking out four and not walking a Barton batter. Hearp (4-5) was charged with the loss for Barton.

The Lady Bulldogs visit King University on Monday with a 2 p.m. first pitch scheduled.