PENSACOLA, Fla. – Barry University's volleyball team moved within a match of the .500 mark after sweeping North Alabama, 25-12, 25-19, 25-21, in the finale of the South Region Crossover at the University of West Florida Saturday.
The Buccaneers (8-9) won their third straight match – the second via the sweep – and finished their four-match trip to North Florida with a 3-1 mark and victory over a top 20 nationally-ranked opponent.
"It was a great weekend for the team and our confidence," Buccaneers coach Steve Hendricks said. "Our goal was to go 3-1, and we succeeded. Our team has turned a very important corner in terms of playing to our potential. They are determined to use this momentum for the second half of the season."
Barry ran out to an 18-8 lead in the first set after Ivana Didanovic pounded a kill. Kristen Reid’s kill and service point closed out the first set in run-away fashion. The Bucs scored of the last 10 points in the set.
Tied at 17-17 in the second set, following an Ashley Carrero kill, Didanovic served up an ace as Barry took a late lead. A Lions attack error and kill by Carrero padded the Bucs lead to 20-17. Tashalyn Begon banged down her first kill of the match to make it a four-point Buccaneers lead. Carrero put away her ninth and 10th kills in between North Alabama winners by Megan Gorey and Hope Rayburn, and a Lions attack error gave the Buccaneers a 2-0 match lead.
In the third set, the Lions hung with Barry most of the way before Begon’s kill and a combination block by Katie Dooley and Begon put the Bucs ahead 23-20. Dooley added a kill, and Cielena subbed in and pounded home the final point in Pensacola.
Cielena had eight kills and two block assists, hitting .364. Carrero had 12 kills, marking her third straight match with double-digit kills. She hit .241, and had two of the Bucs’ 14 block assists.
Didanovic had a .583 attack percentage and seven kills without an error in 12 attempts. It was her fourth match this season without a hitting error. She also had three aces and two block assists.
Trinidad had 29 assists.
Barry hit .216, while North Alabama was held to .044. It was the second lowest hitting percentage by a Buccaneers opponent this year. Bowie State hit a dismal -.340 in the first weekend of the season.
The Bucs had five aces to the Lions’ one.
Barry returns home to re-enter Sunshine State Conference play at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Florida Tech.