Volleyball Escapes Lynn in Nerve-Testing Tilt

Volleyball Escapes Lynn in Nerve-Testing Tilt
Barry's Mima Hajdukovic and Laine Cielena accounted for 27 putaways in Barry's thrilling five-set win at Lynn. Photo by Jason Roberts

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- A little over a week ago, Barry volleyball coach Steve Hendricks had a quick response when the thought of another marathon match was broached.

"Whatever it takes," he said with a chuckle.

Tuesday night, it took all of that and more as Barry needed five sets and plenty of overtime to beat Lynn in rally-with-its-backs-against-the-wall 25-22, 16-25, 30-28, 25-27, 20-18 win to keep its postseason hopes alive.

Needing a pair of victories to close the regular season, the Buccaneers (16-12, 8-6 Sunshine State Conference) answered the call in their first opportunity, albeit on the road. Now they host Eckerd and Tampa Friday and Saturday with so much at stake.

Barry overcame two down-to-the-wire points in the third set, using a kill by Mima Hajdukovic to knot the score at 27-27, and another putaway by Tania Torres to tie it at 28-28, to stay alive in a pivotal point in the match. Torres' service ace and a set-ending kill by Hajdukovic gave the Buccaneers a 2-1 match lead.

The Bucs hit .314 in the third set -- its best attacking performance of the five sets Tuesday.

Lynn (14-12, 4-10) overcame Barry's 22-20 lead, following a kill by Laine Cielena in the fourth set to take a 24-23 lead on Michelle Jordan's kill. Even after Barry's Tashalyn Begon put down a kill before a Fighting Knights service error allowed the Bucs to tie the match twice in crunch time, Lynn responded with kills by Abbey Brokop and Angie Caple to put the fourth set away.

The Fighting Knights, who had 19 kills in each of the third and fourth sets, fell behind 5-1 in the final set, following Cielena's kill. But Brianna Cox, who finished with 21 kills, helped Lynn tie the score at 9-9 with a putaway. Brittany Brown's kill eight serves later pushed Lynn to match point, 14-12, but a Knights' service error and attack error gave Barry extended life.

Shannon Dugan's kill moved Lynn back ahead, 15-14, but Begon slammed home a kill to tie it up again. The Fighting Knights again moved within match point, 17-16, after a Bucs' attacking error. But Lynn couldn't capitalize, committing a pair of hitting errors of their own to vault Barry up, 18-17.

The Buccaneers allowed Lynn extra breathing room following one of its 30 attack errors to knot the decisive set at 18-18. But Jayla Trombley banged home a kill and then fired off a service ace to capture the victory for Barry.

Trombley finished with three aces, none more important than her last in a match that didn't seem to ever want closure.

Hajdukovic had 14 kills, 40 assists, 12 digs, seven blocks and hit .545. Kate Dooley had 10 kills and a .500 attack percentage. Begon and Cielena each had 13 kills. Begon had 11 digs, and Cielena had a hand in on three of the Bucs' 12 blocks. Mariana Lisboa had 30 digs, and Jasmine Serna three aces.

Barry's win was its fifth in its last six matches, and the Bucs improved to 5-2 in five-setters this season.

Barry hosts Eckerd at 7 p.m. Friday and Tampa on Senior Day at 4 p.m. Saturday.