Barton, No. 15 George Mason and No. 18 Saint Francis grabbed road wins, while No. 17 Fort Wayne held serve against Loras on Saturday evening.
Barton extended its win streak to seven, while George Mason moved to 6-0 in the EIVA for the first time since 2012 with its win over Sacred Heart.
Barton (RV) def. Belmont Abbey 3-1 (25-27, 25-16, 25-15, 25-23)
- Barton moves to 12-6, 9-0 Conference Carolinas; Belmont Abbey falls to 6-10, 4-6 Conference Carolinas
- Belmont, North Carolina
- Box Score
- Barton Recap / Belmont Abbey Recap
Key Stats: Barton hit at a .379 clip and won every statistical category in a four-set win, its seventh straight. The Bulldogs bested the Knights in kills (60-41), aces (5-4) and blocks (7.5 to 5.5) and held them to a .200 hitting effort.
Stat Leaders: Junior outside Vasilis Mandilaris put down a season and match-high 20 kills, three blocks and two aces to pace a group of four Bulldogs with double-digit kill efforts. Sophomore right side Angelos Mandilaris (14), junior middle Justice Lord (10) and junior outside Aleksa Brkovic (10) followed. Lord hit at an errorless, match-best .833 clip (10-0-12) and added three blocks. Brkovic also served up two aces.
Sophomore outside Liam Maxwell was the lone Belmont Abbey player in double-digits, turning in 17 putaways on a .395 effort. Freshman middle Brian Long was the next closest, notching nine kills, three blocks and two aces on a .389 hitting effort. Three others tallied four putaways.
It Was Over When: Barton led throughout Set 4, but didn’t pull it out until the very end despite owning a four-point lead eight times, last at 21-17. The Bulldogs built a 10-6 edge after three Lord putaways and two from Vasilis Mandilaris. The teams traded points over the next 12 serves, leading to a 16-12 score. Trailing 21-17, Belmont called timeout and scored four straight, including two Brian Long aces, to knot the score. After another tie at 22, Barton scored three of the next four to close out the win. A kill by Lord and two by Vasilis Mandilaris were the clinchers.
#17 Fort Wayne def. Loras 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-15)
- Fort Wayne moves to 13-4; Loras falls to 8-7
- Fort Wayne, Indiana
- Box Score
- Loras Recap / Fort Wayne Recap
Key Stats: Fort Wayne hit .312 and served up nine aces in a three-set non-conference win over Loras. The Mastodons held the Duhawks to a .051 hitting effort and outdid them in kills (34-23) and aces (9-5). Both teams managed six blocks. Fort Wayne hit .250 or better in all three sets, including a .444 effort in Set 2.
Stat Leaders: Junior opposite Alex Dickmann notched 12 kills to pace the Mastodons, while freshman outside Austin Gerwig added eight putaways and three aces. Redshirt junior outside Tony Price, junior middle Max Hansen and freshman setter Frederico Santos put up three blocks apiece. Santos also posted a double-double with 24 assists and a team-best 10 digs.
Freshman right side Joe Jendra was tops among the Duhawks with nine kills and seven digs. Freshman outside Mihajlo Gomez added four kills, four digs and two aces, but hit -.056. Junior middle Austin Kuchenbecker put up a team-best three blocks.
It Was Over When: Loras led Set 3 6-3 after two Jendra kills and a kill and an ace by Gomez. Fort Wayne turned things around with 10 of the next 13 points with help from four Duhawk miscues and two kills each by Dickmann and Austin Neace to go up 13-9. Loras scored two in a row, but a 9-2 run pushed the margin to nine at 22-13. Five Loras errors and three aces, two by Gerwig and one by Kade Bontrager, aided the rally. Kills by Max Hansen and Gerwig and a Neace ace capped the match at 25-15.
#15 George Mason def. Sacred Heart 3-0 (25-12, 25-13, 25-22)
- George Mason moves to 10-7, 6-0 EIVA; Sacred Heart falls to 2-8, 0-7 EIVA
- Fairfield, Connecticut
- Box Score
- George Mason Recap / Sacred Heart Recap
Key Stats: George Mason moved to 6-0 to start EIVA play for the first time since 2012 with a road sweep thanks in part to a nine-ace effort. The Patriots also put up 12 blocks and hit .346 in the match to top the Pioneers. For its part, Sacred Heart managed five blocks, but hit just .057 while trailing 37-26 in kills.
Stat Leaders: Junior outside Kyle Barnes, sophomore opposite Hayden Wagner and redshirt senior outside Christian Malias split the offensive load for the Patriots, posting 14, 10 and nine kills respectively. Wagner hit at a team-high .529 clip and added nine digs, five blocks and three aces. Sophomore middle Bryce Gatling put up six blocks, while redshirt junior middle Langston Payne added five. Senior right side Brian Negron served up four aces.
Redshirt junior right side Emerson Waumans downed seven kills to lead Sacred Heart, but hit at a .000 clip. Eight other players managed putaways with junior middle Michael McLaughlin and sophomore middle Rob Chatterton turning in four apiece. McLaughlin hit at a team-best .333 clip and put up two blocks. Redshirt junior middle Taylor Bloomquist and junior outside Blake Cox also managed two blocks apiece.
It Was Over When: George Mason scored the first four points of Set 3, with two Gatling stuffs and a Negron ace. The Patriots went on to a 14-9 lead as Barnes notched three kills and Wagner added two. Sacred Heart cut the margin to one at 17-16, scoring seven of the next 10. Four GMU miscues aided the Pioneers. Back to back kills by Chatterton made it a one-point game again at 19-18. The Patriots responded with a 5-1 run, including two Malias kills and aces by Payne and Negron. SHU scored three straight to slow the George Mason momentarily, but a Wagner kill ended the night.
#18 Saint Francis def. NJIT 3-1 (25-23, 25-21, 20-25, 25-22)
- Saint Francis moves to 8-11, 3-4 EIVA; NJIT falls to 3-11, 1-4 EIVA
- Newark, New Jersey
- Box Score
- Saint Francis Recap / NJIT Recap
Key Stats: NJIT boasted a 7-3 lead in aces and 10-9 edge in blocks, but could not overcome a 12-point deficit in kills in a home loss on Saturday. Saint Francis also outhit the Highlanders .275 to .167 in addition to the 53-41 lead in kills.
Stat Leaders: Redshirt senior outside Stephen Braswell (18), senior outside Brandon Buck (17) and junior outside Evan Feltz (10) combined for 45 of the Red Flash’s 53 kills. Feltz led the way with a .300 hitting effort, five blocks and two aces, while Braswell rounded out a double-double with 14 digs and Buck added eight saves. Redshirt sophomore setter Joseph Koszelak also posted a double-double with 44 assists and 12 digs.
Freshman opposite Alvaro Gimeno downed 20 kills for the Highlanders, but it was not enough. Sophomore middle Luca Berger and Junior outside Tyler Brandow followed with six kills apiece, while senior middle Kevin Myren added five. Myren tacked on five blocks and three aces, while Berger added five stuffs and hit at a team-high .385 clip.
It Was Over When: The teams played to a 15-all tie in Set 4 before Saint Francis pulled away with a 4-0 run, including two NJIT hitting errors and a service error. The Red Flash held at least at two-point advantage the rest of the way. Four different players turned in kills, including two from Buck, as SFU went up 24-20. A Berger kill and Raymond Kowalski ace kept the Highlanders in the game, but another Buck putaway sealed the 25-22 win and the match.