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BRISTOL, TENN. — The Barton College men’s volleyball team, the defending champion, was unable to dethrone the king.
The Bulldogs’ bid for a second NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas tournament championship was denied by top-seeded host King University by a 25-10, 25-17, 25-21 triumph in Saturday evening’s championship match. The championship was the first for King in the program’s history.
The teams split regular-season encounters and deadlocked for regular-season supremacy. The Tornado landed the top seed by virtue of a tiebreaker process. King (23-5) earned the automatic bid to the Division I-II Tournament.
No. 2-seeded Barton ends its season with a 21-8 record.
The Bulldogs struggled, committing 23 attack errors and hitting just .036. Neither could Barton control King’s middle blockers, who posted 24 block assists.
Leading the Barton effort was junior Aleksa Brkovic with nine kills and six digs. Junior Vasilis Mandilaris notched four kills and six digs. Junior Nick Leary added four kills and a solo block, while redshirt sophomore Oscar Fiorentino responded with a team-high 23 assists and seven digs.
The Bulldogs tallied the match’s opening point before King answered with a 3-0 run that featured a pair of kills from Nick Drooker. The Tornado surged to leads of 7-2 and 11-6. Then, an 8-0 tear sealed the opening set.
In the second set, King spurted from a 7-5 edge to a 11-5 margin. The Bulldogs clicked off three consecutive points before King’s Kiel Bell ended the spree with a kill. Barton trimmed an 18-14 deficit to 18-17 on a Mandilaris kill. However, the Tornado pulled away with the next five points.
Barton, in the final set, cut a 6-1 deficit to 6-4. Trailing 16-10, the Bulldogs crept as close as 16-13 as Brkovic delivered a pair of kills. With a last gasp, the Bulldogs chopped a 21-14 deficit to 21-18. But four consecutive errors were more than the Bulldogs could overcome.
The Bulldogs’ Brkovic and Vasilis Mandilaris were named to the all-championship team, while King’s Jeff Sprayberry was voted the most valuable player.
Spayberry amassed a match-high 14 kills. Bell chipped in with seven kills and seven digs. Drooker was busy with 30 assists, six digs and five block assists. Adrian Besson added five block assists and four kills, while Jon Wheaton had a match-high seven block assists.
Difficult season ends for Bulldogs in NGU sweep
A difficult Barton College baseball season for first-year head coach Jim Chester ended on Barton’s Nixon Field diamond Saturday afternoon with a 11-3 NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas loss to nationally No. 4-ranked North Greenville (South Carolina) University.
The Bulldogs fell behind 8-0 in the top of the fourth inning and finished 4-19 in the conference and 12-36 overall. The won-lost showing in the program’s Division II history, dating back to 1995. Barton ended the season with six straight losses.
North Greenville swept the three-game series and emerged the conference’s regular-season champion at 21-3 and boasts a 39-6 overall record.
Right-handed pitcher Trent Fennell and outfielder Rich Trifaro were honored on Barton’s Senior Day.
Fennell drew his final mound start but lasted 4 2/3 innings in suffering his fifth loss against six wins. The Crusaders chased Fennell with four runs in the top of the fifth inning. Fennell posted his 99th strikeout of the season, exceeding his prevous mark of 98 last season. Trifaro started in left field and batted 1 for 4.
Freshman Colby Warren put Barton on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth, blasting his team-leading 12th home run, a shot beyond the wall and through the trees in left field.
The other two runs came in the sixth. Junior shortstop Gatlin Pate singled; Warren doubled and sophomore first baseman Chase Riker drilled a two-run double.
Starting North Greenville pitcher Tucker Burgess limited the Bulldogs to three hits through five innings in recording his 13th win against one loss.
Fennell blanked the Crusaders the first two innings, but they tagged him for four runs in each of the next two inings. Freshman right-hander Clay Walters and Chase Long, a junior right-hander from Hunt High, followed Fennell.
Shortstop Utah Jones, catcher John Jones, right fielder Connor Grant and second baseman Jared Williams each collected two hits for the Crusaders. Grant drove in three runs and John Jones a pair.
Barton ends regular season on win streak
The Barton College softball team will enter the NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas tournament with a bit of momentum.
One day after a Senior Day sweep of UNC Pembroke, the Lady Bulldogs welcomed former conference member St. Andrews University and extended their winning streak to four games with a doubleheader sweep at Jeffries Field.
The Lady Bulldogs won the opening game 9-4 with a complete-game six-hitter from junior Teegan Crosby before a three-run fifth inning provided all the cushion freshman Ashton Pegram and junior Makayla Meeks would need to secure a 3-1 win in the second contest.
Barton, which will carry the No. 8 and final seed into next week’s conference tournament, concluded its regular season at 23-27. St. Andrews, now affiliated with the NAIA ranks, fell to 18-30.
Behind a 12-hit attack in the opener, Barton snapped a 3-3 tie with two runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Alison Montague’s RBI single put the Lady Bulldogs up 6-3 in the fifth, and Hayley Grizzle, who finished 3 for 4 with two RBIs, stole home later in the inning.
Grizzle tacked on a run-scoring single in the sixth to cap the Lady Bulldogs’ scoring. Crosby struck out five and walked three. S.K. Brown took the loss for St. Andrews.
Sierra Hearp tripled.
In the second game, Blake’s double scored Hearp in the fifth, which was followed by Grizzle’s two-run single.
Pegram, who did not allow a run over five innings, yielded to Meeks in the sixth, who yielded a run on one hit for her first save.
Barton will face off with the No. 1 seed on Friday at 1 p.m. at Springwood Park in Burlington. The conference tournament is double-elimination format.
Score by innings:
St. Andrews 102 000 1 — 4
Barton 201 222 x — 9
WP-Teegan Crosby (3-5) 7 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 SO. LP-S.K. Brown (4-14) 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO.
LEADING HITTERS — Barton: Hayley Grizzle 3-4, 2 RBI, Jordan Blake 2-4, 2B, Sierra Hearp 2-2, 3B; St. Andrews: Cassie Fortner 3-4, 3B, RBI.
Score by innings:
St. Andrews 000 001 0 — 1
Barton 000 030 0 — 3
WP-Ashton Pegram (3-2) 5 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO. LP-S.K. Brown (4-15) 4 2/3 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO S-Makayla Meeks (1) 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO.
LEADING HITTERS — Barton: Taylor Martin 3-4, Jordan Blake 2-3, 2 2B, RBI; St. Andrews: Lexi Dawson 1-3, Brennan Broadaway 1-3, RBI.
Lady Bulldogs sweep Senior Day twinbill
The Barton College softball team observed Senior Day on Saturday with an NCAA Division II nonconference doubleheader sweep of visiting UNC Pembroke.
The Lady Bulldogs of Conference Carolinas rallied to a 6-5 victory in the opener and, in five innings, stopped the Braves 11-3 in the second game. Barton walked off with two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
And the occasion proved a Senior Day to remember for second baseman Brittany Jacobs, the lone Barton senior. Jacobs drove in seven runs, including five in the first game, when she tripled and singled.
Barton boosted its record to 21-27 while UNC Pembroke of the Peach Belt Conference departed 24-22.
Barton, in the opener, overcame five unearned UNC Pembroke runs in the fourth inning — when Mary Sells slammed a three-run triple.
But the Lady Bulldogs answered with four runs in their half of the fourth and two in the fifth.
With the bases loaded in the fourth, Jacobs fouled off six consecutive two-strike pitches and completed the 12-pitch at-bat with a bases-clearing triple. Freshman Jordan Blake singled in the fourth run.
Jacobs delivered again with two outs and the bases loaded in the fifth, drilling a single that plated the tying and go-ahead runs.
Trailing 2-0 in the second game, Barton sent 13 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first.
Eight hits, including five in succession, resulted in eight runs. Jacobs singled in the final two.
The Lady Bulldogs walked off in the fifth when sophomore Sierra Hearp doubled home junior Hannah Jones and Kelsey Carroll, who had doubled.
Blake, Carroll and first baseman Jessica Onega each rapped two hits. Hearp, Blake, Jacobs, Onega and sophomore Samantha Santmyers each drove in two runs.
Jones (10-10) and Makayla Meeks (2-3) notched the pitching wins in route-going performances.
Score by innings:
UNC Pembroke 000 500 0 — 5
Barton 000 420 x — 6
LP-Hannah Jones (W 10-10) 7 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO. WP-Malerie Leviner (9-11) 4 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO.
LEADING HITTERS — UNC Pembroke: Lexie Coxe 2-3, 2B, RBI; Mary Sells 1-4, 3B, 3 RBI; Barton: Brittany Jacobs 2-3, 3B, 5 RBI; Sierra Hearp 2-3, 2 R.
Score by innings:
UNC Pembroke 201 50 — 3
Barton 800 12 — 11
WP-Makayla Meeks (2-3) 5 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO. LP-Breezy Yelton (9-5) 1/3 IP, 6 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO.
LEADING HITTERS — UNC Pembroke: Jamie Johnson 2-3, 2B, 3B, RBI; Alyssa Price 1-2, 2B; Toni Nelson 1-3, 3B, RBI; Barton: Jordan Blake 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI; Jessica Onega 2-2, 2 RBI; Kelsey Carroll 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI; Sierra Hearp 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI; Brittany Jacobs 1-3, 2 RBI.
Lady Bulldogs denied by Valkryies
Ahead 15-14 with just under eight minutes remaining, the Barton College women’s lacrosse team yielded a goal with 16 seconds left and fell 16-15 to visiting Converse (South Carolina) College in its regular-season finale Saturday afternoon.
The outcome decided the No. 6 spot in the conference tournament. Nonetheless, the Lady Bulldogs, in the second year of the program, are headed into the postseason for the first time as the No. 7 seed. Barton visits No. 7 University of Mount Olive in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.
Aryanna Fahnestock scored off an assist from Rebecca Fraser to vault Barton out front 15-14 with 7 minutes, 57 seconds remaining.
Nearly two minutes later, the Valkyries deadlocked the score at 15-15 on Brittni Jones’ goal.
From that point, Barton had its opportunities but was hampered a shot-clock violation and two turnovers its last three possessions.
Converse requested a time-out with 56 seconds left to set up a play for Jones, one of the league’s top scorers. With 20 seconds showing, Jones launched her match-winning move that produced her 10th goal of the match — a Converse record — and her 72nd of the season.
The teams battled through eight ties and six lead changes. Back-to-back goals staked Barton to its biggest lead of 13-10 with 23:41 left.
But Converse answered with the next four goals.
The balanced Lady Bulldogs got three goals each from Brooke Lonergan, Jenna Brunclik and Kayli Ashenfelter, and two each from Alyssa Torres and Natalie Brooks.
Fraser recorded five assists, six draw controls and six groundballs. Torres had five caused turnovers and goalkeeper Katherine Mattena, who had two big stops in the waning moments, registered nine saves.
Barton finished the regular season 3-6 in the conference and 5-9 overall.
Barton stopped by Chowan in semifinals
SUMTER, S.C. — The bid of the Barton College men’s tennis team for a second straight NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas championship died in Saturday’s tournament semifinals with a 5-1 loss to No. 3-seeded Chowan University.
The Bulldogs, who spilled No. 2 University of Mount Olive on Friday, exited at 7-13.
Barton started with promise, with Oscar Marmestedt-Diego Agudelo, third team all-conference, posting an 8-6 win at No. 1 doubles.
However, the Bulldogs trailed 2-1 going into singles and lost in straight sets to No. 2 Adi Kaliakperov, No. 3 Mateusz Izycki and No. 5 Rafael Concalves.
At No. 6, Barton’s Ermanno Galimberti won his first set 6-0 and trailed 3-2 in the second when the match was terminated with the team outcome decided.
The Hawks conquered Barton for the second time this season, winning7-2 at Barton on April 5.
CHOWAN 5, BARTON 1
Oscar Marmestedt-Diego Agudelo (B) def. Mariana Yeh-Ghassan Alansi 8-6; Mateusz Izycki-Rafael Goncalves (C) def. Rory Gaydon-Jesus Gil 8-3; Adi Kaliakperov-Louis Proulx (C) def. Ermanno Galimberti-Martijn Eleveld 8-4.
Alansi (C) vs. Gaydon 6-4, 4-4, unfinished; Kaliakperov (C) def. Marmestedt 6-1, 6-2; Izycki (C) def. Agudelo 6-4, 6-2; Proulx (C) vs. Gil 7-5, 5-2, unnfinished; Goncalves (C) def. Alessandro Gerbino 6-2, 6-4; Yeh (C) vs. Galimberti 0-6, 3-2, unfinished.
BC ousted by Saints in CC semifinals
SUMTER, S.C. — Only the all-conference No. 2 doubles tandem of Vanessa Sanoja-Ada Vargas tasted victory as the Barton College women’s tennis team was spilled 5-1 by No. 3-seeded Limestone (South Carolina) College in the NCAA Division II Conference Carolinas tournament semifinals on Saturday.
The No. 2-seeded Lady Bulldogs bowed out with a 14-10 record.
Sanoja-Vargas claimed a 7-2 tiebreaker to emerge with an 8-7 triumph against the Lady Saints’ Alexandra Dolfi-Felicitas Picinini and leave Barton trailing 2-1 after doubles.
The Lady Bulldogs had their chances in singles, where Sanoja, at No. 3; Vargas, at No. 4; and Claudia Capellades, at No. 5, were leading when they were called off the courts with the team outcome decided.
At No. 3 doubles, Barton’s Capellades-Whitney Hamilton dropped a 7-4 tiebreaker in losing 8-7.
Limestone clinched with singles wins from No. 1 Camille Haus, No. 2 Laura Aholu and No. 6 Ruby Kubac in straight sets.
At No. 2, Aholu, with a 6-3, 6-0 conquest, ended the winning streak of Barton’s first-team, all-conference sophomore Marissa Stevenson at 14 matches.
LIMESTONE 5, BARTON 2
Camille Haus-Laura Aholu (L) def. Daria Avram-Marissa Stevenson 8-5; Vanessa Sanoja-Ada Vargas (B) def. Alexandra Dolfi-Felicitas Picinini 8-7 (7-2); Alison Walsh-Ruby Kubac (L) def. Claudia Capellades-Whitney Hamilton 8-7 (7-4).
Haus (L) def. Avram 6-3, 6-0; Aholu (L) def. Stevenson 6-3, 6-0; Sanoja (B) vs. Dolfi 6-1, 0-4, unfinished; Vargas (B) vs. Picinini 7-6 (13-11), unfinished; Capellades (B) vs. Walsh 6-4, 3-2, unfinished; Kubac (L) def. Hamilton 6-1, 6-0.