Erskine flies by Barton to land to NCAA Tournament field

A third time was exactly what Erskine needed to get past Barton and win the Conference Carolinas champions.

Erskine entering the postseason with two regular season losses to Barton swept the Bulldogs 25-20, 25-19, 25–18 in the Conference Carolinas Tournament finals on Saturday in Due West, South Carolina.

With this victory, the Flying Fleet won their second conference title in the last three years and advance to the six-team NCAA Tournament.

All-conference outside attacker Mike Michelau in the victory had a 12 kills and nine digs. The 2016 Conference Carolinas Player of the Year also finished with three aces and had multiple aces late in the second game to help the Flying Fleet take a two-game lead in the championship match.


Michelau was one of two Flying Fleet players to have double-digit kills as Erskine out-hit Barton .377 to .162.

All-conference outside attacker Roberto Perez Vargas finished with a match-high 13 kills. In addition, outside attacker Omar Melendez had eight kills on a .700 attack percentage.

Freshman outside attacker Vasilis Mandilaris led Barton with nine kills, while freshman outside attacker Aleska Brkovic added eight kills and three aces.

Despite the loss, Barton finished the season making its first appearance in the Conference Carolinas Tournament finals and had its first 20-win season program history.

This is the third consecutive year that the Conference Carolinas regular season champions have won the conference tournament to receive the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Erskine is projected to the No. 5 seed for the NCAA Tournament, according to the latest Off the Block bracketoogy.