TAMPA -- Barry University's volleyball team lost to No. 3 Tampa, 25-17, 25-14, 25-9, Saturday to complete the toughest portion of its schedule to this point. It marked the third straight loss against a team that earned a Top 25 ranking, with the latter two of those matches on the road.
The Buccaneers (4-5, 0-2 Sunshine State Conference) never led against the NCAA Division II runner-up Spartans (9-1, 2-0), but battled back from gaping deficits to keep things respectable early on. Tampa led 10-1 after Jessica Wagner put away a ball in the first set, but the Bucs used a 9-3 run to cut it to 13-10 behind back-to-back aces by Jenny Trinidad and kills by Jayla Trombley and Laine Cielena.
But even after Barry drew within 14-12 on a kill by Cielena and Holly Reschke attack error, the Spartans, who outhit the Bucs, .500 to .153, rattled off 11 of the next 16 points to take the opening set. Barry managed eight kills in the first set, while Tampa produced 21 of its 25 points via the kill.
In the second set, Barry's Ashley Carrero pounded a kill to pull the Buccaneers within 10-8. Tashalyn Begon had a kill for the Bucs four serves later to keep the score within two points, but Tampa closed the set out on a 13-4 surge to go up two sets to none.
The Spartans hit .667 in the second set, committing one error in 24 attempts. Barry had its most productive set in the match in the middle set, hitting .280 with 11 kills and four errors.
Barry fell behind 18-6 in the final set with a combined five kills from Cielena, Trombley and Carrero, but it was too much to recover from, and the Bucs suffered their third straight three-set loss.
Carrero finished with eight kills, Cielena seven and Trombley six. Jasmine Serna had 20 assists and a team-high six digs. Berkley Whaley had 15 kills, and hit .522 for the Spartans. Kahley Patrick had 28 assists, and Frances Cardenas had a team-best eight digs in a match where defense did not dictate.
Barry will host Nova Southeastern at 7 p.m. Friday and Lynn 4 p.m. Saturday.