ALLENDALE, Mich. -- This Buccaneer team is tight. The kind of tight where bonds have no boundaries.
Saturday the volleyball team collaborated to create more memories in a state where purity is promoted. You know, the Pure Michigan commercials where nature's landscape promises not to disappoint.
Barry didn't disappoint on the final day of the Grand Rapids Classic at Grand Valley State, winning a pair of matches to earn the Bucs a third place finish.
"We learned a lot about them," Buccaneers assistant coach Katie McCrath said.
The Bucs beat Seton Hill, 18-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-23 in a match where high-energy was preached, and perseverance paid off. Then Barry finished off a 3-1 trip with a 25-22, 25-18, 26-24 sweep of Stonehill to run its record to 5-3.
Barry, which has yet to play a home match, found itself behind the eight-ball after dropping the first set against Seton Hill. But with Jeni Hiapo serving, the Bucs raced to a 9-3 second-set lead following Ashley Carrero's kill. The Griffins cut it to 16-14 before Tania Torres answered with a kill and Hiapo served up another point to push the Bucs' lead back to four. Seton Hill (4-3) drew within two again at the 21-19 mark, but kills by Alicia Guerrero and Carrero knotted the match at a set apiece.
Laine Cielena's kill in the third set gave the Buccaneers a 16-11 lead, and Carrero followed suit with another blast to push Barry's lead to six. Seton Hill rallied to tie it at 20-20, and took the lead at 23-22 only to watch the never-perish Buccaneers respond with a kill by Torres, combo block by Carrero and Torres and kill by Tashalyn Begon -- the final two points with Guerrero serving -- to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Carrero's back-to-back kills broke a crunchtime fourth-set deadlock to vault the Bucs ahead 23-22. Carrero, who finished with 15 kills, and Mima Hajdukovic wrapped up Barry's fourth win of the year with termination touches.
Hajdukovic had 11 kills, 44 assists and 10 digs, hitting .474. Torres had 16 of the Bucs' 59 kills. Jasmine Serna had 20 digs and two aces.
More than the numbers, it was the victory that had Barry beaming. Smiles are contagious in sports, and never is it any more prevalent than when a team ties binds that don't unravel. Saturday was one of those days for the Bucs.
Barry sealed that deal with a nine-block win over a Stonehill squad that pushed the Bucs to the brink in two of the three sets, including the closeout. Trailing 19-12 in the opening set, Barry went on an 11-0 run behind Mariana Lisboa's kill and successive 10 service points. Lisboa had three aces in the surge, and Torres, Begon and Carrero delivered kills.
Cielena punctuated the first set with a kill.
Barry ran to a 15-8 lead in the second set when Torres sent a missile to the floor. Hajdukovic's kill extended the lead to 20-14. Begon and Torres put a stamp on a pair of set-culminating kills to give the Bucs a 2-0 lead.
Serna served the Buccaneers to a 17-13 lead in the third set, and Carrero's slam made it 20-15. Stonehill (2-3) retaliated to take a 24-23 advantage, but Hajdukovic and Lisboa answered with kills. A Skyhawks error put the finishing touches on Barry's pair of Saturday wins.
Lisboa had six kills, 12 digs, four aces and four blocks. Torres had 10 kills, Hajdukovic seven kills, 29 assists, three aces and three blocks. Carrero had eight kills, and Begon five kills and three blocks.
Barry will host the alumni match at 7 p.m. Friday.