- Barton College def. King University 3-2 (25-20, 17-25, 25-21, 23-25, 15-9)
- Barton moves to 18-5 (15-2 Conference Carolinas); King falls to 18-5 (14-2 Conference Carolinas)
- Wilson Gym, Wilson, North Carolina
- Attendance: 110
- Box Score
After an emotional win on Friday against Mount Olive, the Conference Carolinas leaders King fell 3-2 to Barton College on Saturday. With the win, Barton moves into sole possession of first place in the conference with 1 more win, and the same number of losses, as King.
The two sides traded sets throughout the evening, but Barton won the first, and therefore the last, to take the game.
Barton had a huge advantage at the net, recording 18.5 blocks to just 7 for King. That inlcluded 9 from sophomore Justice Lord, who also had 8 kills and hit .500. Federico Pagliara had 7 blocks and Nick Leary did as well.
Speaking to the importance of the game, both teams played just 7 players for the entire game – which is the minimum for a team using a libero. That means that the starters went the duration, and the teams lived and died by their success.
Jeff Sprayberry had 17 kills for King. That follows up the 27 he had on Friday against Mount Olive, but he hit more than .300 points worse (.438 – .109) on Saturday than he did a day earlier.
Courtesy Barton College Athletics:
WILSON, N.C. – The Barton College men’s volleyball team used five sets to take down the Tornado of King (Tenn.) University on Saturday afternoon to lay claim to sole possession of first place in the Conference Carolinas standings.
Barton (18-5, 15-2) took the five-setter by a score of 3-2 (25-20, 17-25, 25-21, 23-25, 15-9) to end a 15-game win streak for the Tornado (25-3, 14-2) and move ahead of them into the top spot in the league.
The BC defense held King to its third lowest hitting percentage of the season at .126 thanks in large part to 18.5 total blocks, including nine from sophomore Justice Lord and seven apiece from fellow sophomore Nick Leary and senior Federico Pagliara. Senior libero Jonathan Novoa-Miralles did his part on defense, contributing a career-high 21 digs.
In contrast, the Bulldogs hit .287 on offense and were led by sophomore Aleksa Brkovic who had 16 kills with a .389 hitting percentage to go along with eight digs. Freshman Angelos Mandilaris chipped in 11 kills and eight digs of his own, while sophomore Vasilis Mandilaris finished with 10 kills.
Leary’s block total came alongside nine kills and a .471 hitting percentage, as Lord totaled eight kills with a .500 hitting mark. Pagliara led all players with 50 assists and recorded six digs on defense.
The Tornado were in control early in the first set of action, opening the game with four unanswered points and extended their lead to a 9-5 margin on back-to-back kills from Jeff Sprayberry.
Barton continued to cut into the deficit and eventually ties the match at 11-11 before taking the lead on a service ace from V. Mandilaris. The score was tied four more times down the stretch, but a 4-1 run to close out the set gave BC the five-point win.
In the second set, Barton led 14-9 midway through the frame but the Tornado responded to a timeout with a 16-3 run to even the match at one set apiece.
After being down by as many as six points in the third set, the Royal Blue and White went on an 11-4 run and took the lead on a Sprayberry attack error. Barton held on to the lead and ended the set on a kills form A. Mandilaris.
However, King fought back to take the fourth set by a two-point margin to force a deciding fifth set.
The two sides traded points in the early going of the fifth set, but with the score tied a 6-all A. Mandilaris took over. The first-year player from Chalkida, Greece had a kill and two service aces to lead Barton on a 5-0 run that put the Bulldogs in front for good. Brkovic ended the match with a kill to seal the victory for the home team.
Barton takes to the road for its next match, a non-conference contest against Coker College on Thursday, April 4 in Hartsville, S.C.
Courtey King University Athletics:
WILSON, N.C. – Following a big road win on Friday night, the King University men’s volleyball team couldn’t come back for the second straight day, falling at Barton College on Saturday afternoon. The Tornado forced a fifth set, but the Bulldogs took the frame 15-9, to win the match 3-2 and create a tie atop the Conference Carolinas standings.
FINAL SCORE: Barton 3, King 2 (25-20, 17-25, 25-21, 23-25, 15-9)
LOCTION: Wilson Gym; Wilson, N.C.
RECORDS: King 25-3, 14-2 Conference Carolinas; Barton 18-5, 15-2 Conference Carolinas
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Kiel Bell recorded the first point of the contest with a kill, and Nick Drooker followed with three straight aces, giving King a 4-0 lead early.
- Barton later scored four straight points to gain a 13-11 advantage.
- The Bulldogs held the advantage for the rest of the set, and scored seven of the final nine points, taking the frame 25-20.
- The Tornado erased a 14-9 deficit in the second set with a 7-0 run started by a Jeff Sprayberry kill.
- Sprayberry and Jon Wheaton ended the spurt with back-to-back kills, giving King a 16-14 lead and forcing a Barton timeout.
- King then scored nine of the final 11 points, including six straight to even the match with the 25-17 second set victory.
- Adrian Besson and Drooker teamed up for consecutive blocks on the spurt and Eddie Moushikhian gave King the victory with a kill.
- The Tornado jumped out to a 10-5 lead in the third set following a Besson solo block.
- However, Barton came back and evened the score at 14 before using a 3-0 run to take a 19-17 advantage.
- From there, Oregon held their lead and took the set 25-21 to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
- Trailing by two in the fourth set, King rolled off four straight points, capped by consecutive Drooker aces, giving King a 12-10 lead.
- Sprayberry stretched the lead to 18-14 with a kill and later gave King the 25-23 victory with another kill.
- Barton turned a 6-6 tie into an 11-6 lead in the fifth set with a 5-0 run.
- The Tornado couldn’t come back as Barton took the set 15-9 and the match 3-2.
- Sprayberry led four Tornado in double figures with 17 kills to go along with eight digs.
- Bell added 11 kills and nine digs.
- Moushikhian and Wheaton chipped in with 10 kills apiece.
- Drooker handed out 48 assists, added eight digs and seven aces.
- Nuckolls led the defense with 16 digs.
FOR THE FOES
- Barton posted 18.5 blocks in the contest, led by Justice Lord’s eight block assists and one solo stuff.
- Federico Pagliara added seven block assists and handed out 50 assists.
- Aleksa Brkovic led the Bulldogs with 16 kills and eight digs.
- Angelos Mandilaris added 11 kills to go along with eight digs and Vasilis Mandilaris chipped in with 10 kills.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The loss end’s King’s 15-match winning streak, the longest in school history. The last Tornado loss came on February 17 against the University of Mount Olive.
- Nuckolls matched his career-high of 16 digs, a mark he reached three times last season.
- Drooker’s seven aces sets a career-high and ranks second in Tornado history.
- King hosts Limestone College on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in the Student Center Complex.
- Barton hosts Mount Olive on April 11.