Barton dominates ConfCarolinas Awards

Photo by Jay Sowers

Jonathan Bates | Off the Block Associate Editor

Barton is highly represented on the ConfCarolinas First Team and won the Coach of the Year award, Offensive Player of the Year award, Defensive Player of the Year award, and newly-created Elite 23 award.

Junior opposite Angelos Mandilaris, was named the ConfCarolinas Offensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year. Mandilaris was a five-time conference player of the week this season and currently leads Barton with 4.35 kills per game and a .362 attack percentage.

In addition to his five weekly conference honors, Mandilaris was named Off the Block National Opposite of the Week three times this year, and named to the Off the Block Grow the Game Challenge all-tournament team. In 2017, he was named ConfCarolinas Freshman of the Year.

Barton senior libero, Aleksa Brkovic, won both the ConfCarolinas Defensive Player of the Year award and the Elite 23 award. He led the Bulldogs with a 2.69 digs per game average – good for No. 2 nationally.

The Elite 23 Award is modeled after the NCAA’s Elite 90 Award, which is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA at their respective championship site. Brkovic has a 3.90 GPA as a mathematics and business administration major.

Brkovic was named Off the Block’s National Libero of the Week for Week 13 after he had a combined 48 digs in three victories that week, including a season-high 21 digs in a four-game road victory against Mount Olive. He also had a match-high 17 digs in Barton’s sweep of Queens that week.

Belmont Abbey opposite Andrew Kohut was named ConfCarolinas Freshman of the Year. He registered double-digit kills in nine of his 26 matches this season, including a career-high 17 kills versus Barton on March 1.

After guiding Barton to its third straight regular season ConfCarolinas title in 2019, Jeff Lennox was named ConfCarolinas Coach of the Year. This is second such selection (2014) and he was previously honored as a AVCA Thirty Under 30 recipient in 2011-12.

Barton (24-4, 14-2 ConfCarolinas) has won 18 of its last 19 matches, and leads the conference with 1.59 aces per game, 12.23 assists per game, 12.92 kills per game, a .342 team attack percentage, and a 0.217 opponent team attack percentage. All of those for the exception of the aces per game also rank in the top five nationally.

Barton led all ConfCarolinas schools with four selections on the First Team.

ConfCarolinas Awards

Offensive Player of the Year: Angelos Mandilaris, Barton
Defensive Player of the Year: Aleksa Brkovic, Barton
Freshman of the Year: Andrew Kohut, Belmont Abbey
Coach of the Year: Jeff Lennox, Barton
Elite 23 Award: Aleksa Brkovic, Barton

2019 All-Conference Carolinas First Team

Opposite: Angelos Mandilaris, Barton
Outside attacker: Liam Maxwell, Belmont Abbey
Outside attacker: Sean Kohlhase, King
Outside attacker: Vasilis Mandilaris, Barton
Middle attacker: Jon Wheaton, King
Setter: Oscar Fiorentino, Barton
Libero: Aleksa Brkovic, Barton

2019 All-Conference Carolinas Second Team

Middle attacker: Don Thompson, Emmanuel
Outside attacker: Jackson Gilbert, North Greenville
Middle attacker: Eric Visgitis, Mount Olive
Middle attacker: Dalton Johnson, King
Outside attacker: Tobi Azeez, Mount Olive
Setter: Brennan Davis, Belmont Abbey
Libero: Joel Roberts, Mount Olive

2019 All-Conference Carolinas Third Team

Middle attacker: Luke Visgitis, Mount Olive
Middle attacker: Keegan Sullivan, Erskine
Opposite: Joshua Kim, King
Opposite: Andrew Kohut, Belmont Abbey
Outside attacker: Jordan Barreto, Limestone
Setter: Shane Yeo, Mount Olive
Libero: Noah Melendez, King