MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- Barry begins conference play in the 2012 volleyball season when it meets Saint Leo and Florida Southern on the road Friday and Saturday, respectively.
The Buccaneers (5-3) had a week off after finishing third at the Grand Rapids Classic in Allendale, Mich., hosted by Grand Valley State University. Now they open league play -- an area they struggled in, following an excellent start to the non-conference schedule a year ago.
But with a new team, new dynamics and a renewed vigor amongst themselves, the Bucs are poised for better outcomes in the SSC this season. Coming off a dominating performance of its "own" last Friday when the Buccaneers swept its alumni team, Barry hopes to rewrite a new path toward returning to the top of the league standings, where they were in years past.
Last year the Bucs started 6-0 in non-conference play before dropping the first two SSC matches to Florida Southern and Tampa, a perennially-ranked national power. This year Florida Southern enters the weekend with an 8-4 overall record. The Moccasins are 0-1 at home.
Tampa, which began the season with a No. 2 national ranking in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll but has dropped to seventh, enters conference play with a 7-2 mark. Barry already knocked off one ranked team earlier this year, and played then-No. 7 Washburn to a competitive three-set loss in the season opener at Palm Beach Atlantic's Hyatt Place Classic in West Palm Beach. Washburn has moved up to No. 5, and is 10-0 entering the weekend.
Saturday's 4 p.m. match at Florida Southern can be followed via LIVE STATS