Barton, Mount Olive players reach knock-out stage of European championship

The Conference Carolinas was more than well represented in the knock-out stage of a European championship event.

The Barton pair of Angelos Mandilaris and Vasilis Mandilaris advanced to the Round of 16, while Mount Olive opposite Robert Poole reached the first round at the CEV U22 Beach Volleyball European Championship during the weekend in the Czech Republic.

The Mandilaris brothers representing their home-nation of Greece swept The Netherlands’ pair of Jasper Bouter and Michiel Ahyi 25-19, 25-16 in the opening round on Saturday. The team later in the day, though, lost to Russia’s Oleg Stoyanovskly and ArtemYarzutkin 21-13, 21-16 and were eliminated from the continental tournament.

Stoyanovskly and Yarzutkin following its Round 16 victory against the two All-Conference Carolinas players went on to win the gold medal and the tournament championship on Sunday.

Angelos Mandilaris and Vasilis Mandilaris reached the knock-out stage after going 1-2 in Pool G to finish the four-team pool in third place.

Poole, along with his teammate Issa Batrane, finished the pool-play round at 2-1 and in second place in Pool D to earn a berth in the knock-out stage. However, the English team lost to the Slovenia pair of Jernej Vrhunc and Alan Kosenina 21-14, 15-21, 15-13 in the first round on Saturday.

Angelos Mandilaris, Vasilis Mandilaris and Poole were First-Team All-Conference Carolinas selections last season and were all in the conference’s top six averaging more than a 3.25 kills per game. In addition, Angelos Mandilaris was an Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Freshman All-American and helped Barton beat Mount Olive in the conference finals to earn a NCAA Tournament berth.

Along with these three players, CSUN outside attacker Dimitar Kalchev was part of a Bulgarian pair at the European beach volleyball championship.

Kalchev and his teammate ended pool-play 0-3 and did not advance to the knock-out stage.