Men's Volleyball Downs Barton In Four Sets

Men's Volleyball Downs Barton In Four Sets

Victor Fraga Leal had a career-high 13 kills and Alex Palmatier recorded blocks on the final three points of the match as University of Mount Olive defeated Barton College 25-20, 26-24, 20-25, 25-16 in Conference Carolinas men's volleyball Saturday at Kornegay Arena. The Trojans recorded a season-high 15.5 blocks as a team.

After missing a chance to win in three sets, Mount Olive (5-5 overall, 5-3 Conference Carolinas) broke away from a 10-10 tie as Robert Poole's kill and Palmatier's ace highlighted a 6-2 run to put the Trojans ahead to stay. Barton never got closer than three points the rest of the way as the Trojans took a 22-15 lead on a kill by Palmatier. After a Barton side out, Palmatier combined on a block with Tyler Yanez on the right side, then recorded a solo block in the middle. On match point, Palmatier combined with Poole on a block on the left side to seal the win.

Palmatier played only the final set, coming off the bench midway through the set.

In the first set, Leal's diving dig kept a point alive and Mount Olive went on to win the point as the Trojans broke away from a 5-5 tie. Mount Olive took its biggest lead of the set at 21-14 on Poole's kill. Barton got as close as 23-20, but Mike Mann and Andrew Sydow recorded back-to-back kills to close out the set.

Neither team led by more than two points in the second set as the Trojans and the Bulldogs battled to a 23-23 tie. Barton took the lead on a block on the right side by Federico Pagliara and Tanner Medina, but Leal's kill saved a set point for Mount Olive. Leal went on to serve out the set as Barton committed consecutive attack errors to give the Trojans a two-set advantage.

The third set followed the same pattern as the second set until Barton went on a 4-0 run and took the lead for good at 18-15 on Pierre Tang-Taye's ace. Mount Olive got as close as one point, but Barton scored four of the final five points to stay in the match. Tang-Taye had two kills and Pagliara and Medina combined on a pair of blocks in the set-ending run.

Poole finished with 10 kills for the Trojans, while Sydow had a match-high seven blocks. Mann and Yanez added five blocks apiece. Yanez also finished with 40 assists, while Josh Donahue recorded 14 digs. Donahue leads the nation with 3.40 digs per set.

Tang-Taye and Chad Stanback, Jr. led all players with 14 kills apiece for Barton. Stanback joined Medina and Michael Perez with five blocks apiece. Pagliara recorded 44 assists for the Bulldogs.

Mount Olive returns to action Wednesday as the Trojans travel to Belmont, N.C., to take on Belmont Abbey in a Conference Carolinas match-up. Match time is 7 p.m.