MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- If there's anything encouraging that came out of Barry University's 25-12, 25-23, 25-22 volleyball lost to the No. 2-ranked team in the country Saturday when Tampa visited Health & Sports Center, it was that the Buccaneers didn't go easy.
Following a throw-away first set, the Bucs battled the Spartans (23-1, 10-0 Sunshine State Conference) brilliantly in the second and third sets. Ivana Didanovic's kill in the second set kept the Bucs within one, 14-13. Didanovic converted twice more in the set four and six serves later to help Barry maintain striking distance, despite trailing 17-16. Laine Cielena banged down a kill, and Jayla Trombley had one of her own as Barry (8-13, 1-9) kept it a one-point deficit, 19-18.
Tampa, which hit .255, crept ahead 23-19. But after Holly Reschke's attack error, Barry freshman Kristen Reid came on to serve the Bucs to a 23-23 deadlock on four straight points, which Spartans coach Chris Catanach tried unsuccessfully to curb Barry's momentum by calling a timeout. The Bucs freshman wasn't fazed on the serve after the timeout, and fellow rookie Jenny Trinidad's kill knotted the match at 23-23.
But the Spartans, which outblocked the Bucs 11-7, secured the final two points of the set to take a 2-0 lead into the intermission.
Tampa hit .370 in the opening set, but the Buccaneers responded with better defense as the match wore on. Barry held the Spartans to .267 hitting in the third set and .162 in the third. Tampa matched Barry in attack errors with each team guilty of 19.
The Buccaneers rolled to a 7-3 lead in the third set on Tashalyn Begon's kill. The Spartans rallied to take an 11-10 lead following a pair of Buccaneer errors. Jasmine Serna fired off an ace to keep Barry within one, 14-13. It was Serna's second ace of the set.
The Spartans, who withstood Trombley's kill that helped Barry remain within one, 17-16, won 10 of the next 15 points to take move within a point of closing out the match. But a kill by Begon, setting error by Kahley Patrick, attack error by Allee Stelogeannis and a kill by Carreror pulled the Bucs back within three, 24-22, before Tampa wrapped it up.
Carrero finished with eight kills, snapping her six-match streak of double digit putaways. Trombley had six kills, and Didanovic five as the Buccaneers had a .101 attack percentage. Reid had a team-high seven digs, including a pair of crucial ones that kept extended rallies alive for the Buccaneers before the offense capitalized at important junctures in the match.
Tampa had four aces, while Barry finished with three. Mariana Ruiz, who came in to serve, ripped off an ace upon her entrance into the match.
Begon and Didanovic each had four block assists.
Barry will play at Palm Beach Atlantic Tuesday at 7 p.m. in West Palm Beach.