Volleyball Sweeps Valdosta State

Volleyball Sweeps Valdosta State
Ashley Carrero had double-digit kills for the second straight match. Photo by Joel Auerbach

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Barry University's volleyball team wasted little time building off its big win over No. 19 West Florida at the South Region Crossover by sweeping Valdosta State, 25-18, 25-19, 25-20, Saturday morning.

The Buccaneers (7-9) are 2-1 at the weekend event hosted by West Florida. They will play North Alabama at 5:15 p.m. in the final match of the Crossover. Follow it via LIVE STATS.

In the sweep of the Blazers, Barry hit .375 and had three players in double figures in kills. Jayla Trombley continued her weekend tear with 10 kills, a .562 hitting percentage and 12 digs. Ivana Didanovic had 11 kills, hit .556 and blocked three balls. Ashley Carrero had 11 kills, nine digs and a .364 attack rate.

It was the Buccaneers' sixth sweep of the season, and their first since blanking Nova Southeastern on Oct. 4 in Miami Shores.

In the opening set, Barry got out to a 12-7 lead on Carrero's second straight putaway. Laine Cielena, who finished with six kills, extended the Buccaneers' lead to 18-12 when she banged down a winner. Trombley's kill made it 20-15 before a Bucs' service error cut it to a four-point margin. But kills by Trombley, Didanovic, Cielena and Carrero helped Barry grab the opening set. 

Jenny Trinidad ripped off back-to-back aces, and Tashalyn Begon sent a missile to the floor as Barry jumped out to a 13-7 lead in the middle set. After the Blazers sliced the Bucs lead to 15-11 on a kill by Lelaleilei Nomura, Barry responded with a kill by Didanovic. But Valdosta State answered again when Ashley Lala served two straight aces to cut it to 16-14. Carrero's kill completed a three-point Bucs run to push the gap back to five. Trombley had two kills and an ace down the stretch to give Barry a 2-0 set lead in the match.

Begon had seven kills, and hit .462. Trinidad had 42 assists, four aces and nine digs as she continued an impressive weekend in North Florida.

In the final set, Barry fell behind, 8-6, on a kill by Jenna Kirkwood, but Didanovic's putaway on a setup from Trinidad vaulted the Bucs ahead 11-10. Carrero sent a ball to a vacant spot on the floor to push the Bucs closer to closing the Blazers out, 17-14. But Nomura's kill gave the Blazers life as they cut the deficit to 17-16. Kelsey Hedman's two straight kills knotted the set at 19-19. Trombley provided another winner, then a VSU error and consecutive Begon putaways padded the Bucs lead to four, 23-19, en route to securing the sweep.

Barry had 54 digs, signalling the fourth time this season the Bucs collected over 50 in a match. It was the second time this year the Buccaneers recorded over 50 digs in back-to-back matches. Barry had a season-high 64 digs in the win over No. 19 West Florida Friday. It was only the third time this year the Bucs outdug their opponent.

Following Saturday evening's South Region Crossover finale with North Alabama, Barry will return home for the first of four straight matches in Health & Sports Center, beginning Wednesday against Sunshine State Conference opponent Florida Tech at 7 p.m.