SAINT LEO, Fla. -- Barry University's volleyball team opened Sunshine State Conference play with a road win over Saint Leo Friday night.
The Buccaneers (6-3, 1-0 SSC) beat the host Lions (6-3, 0-1) in four sets, 19-25, 25-22, 25-20, 25-23. It was a complete reversal from last year when once the Bucs opened league play, they struggled. Different team, different story this season.
Barry bounced back from its opening-set loss with a late-surge win in the second set to tie the match at 1-1. Trailing, 19-17 in the second set, Barry tied it at 19-19 on a Lions attack error and kill by Mima Hajdukovic. Saint Leo traded points with the Bucs over the next four serves to keep the second set tied, but a pair of hitting errors by the Lions gave Barry its first late-set lead, 23-21.
Ashley Carrero's service error allowed the Lions to draw within one, but Tania Torres' kill and a Lions error tied the match at a set apiece.
Barry hit .312 on 15 kills in the second set.
The Buccaneers battled point-for-point with the Lions in the third set before Mariana Lisboa's kill, followed by another putaway by Carrero capped a 4-0 run that pushed Barry ahead, 22-17. Hajdukovic's ace vaulted the Bucs to within a point of wrapping up its second set before Sami Vierk's kill and a ballhandling error by Hajdukovic pulled the Lions to within 24-20. But an attacking error gave the Buccaneers a 2-1 lead in the match.
Barry took a 15-11 lead in the decisive set when Laine Cielena's kill found vacant territory. Lauren Campbell's kill helped Saint Leo tie it at 18-18. Cielena pounded another kill to give the Bucs a two-point lead, 21-19, and Mariana Lisboa and Hajdukovic added kills of their own to extend Barry's lead to 23-21. A Lions attack error moved the Bucs within a point of wrapping up the match, but Vierk's kill and another ballhandling error by Hajdukovic cut the Buccaneers' lead to 24-23.
Carrero, who has become almost predictable to put her stamp on a ball during termination time, pounded her 12th kill to seal it for the Buccaneers.
Torres finished with 15 kills, 13 digs and two blocks. Hajdukovic had 36 assists, nine kills and 11 digs, while attacking at a .643 rate. Cielena had five kills and five blocks. Carrero and Cielena both hit .300 or better.
Jasmine Serna had 15 digs, and Tashalyn Begon had six kills.
Barry, which plays at Florida Southern 4 p.m. Saturday, had 53 kills in 119 attacks. Saint Leo equalled the Bucs kill production in 135 attempts.