Cristina Valladares gave the Buccaneers the ultimate jolt in La Jolla, Calif., Friday.
With Barry's No. 2 nationally-ranked women's tennis team deadlocked at 4-4 against No. 5 Hawai'i Pacific at UC San Diego's Northside Tennis Courts, 48-ranked Valladares trailed No. 27 Celina Goetti, 5-2, in the third set. But Valladares ripped off five straight games to win the match, giving the Bucs a 5-4 exhilarating win.
"It was all about condition and heart," Barry coach Avi Kigel said. "It was great energy."
Barry (10-0) completed its three-match trip to Southern California with triumphs over two Top 20-ranked NCAA Division II schools and another over the No. 2-ranked NAIA team, which is moving to Division II next year.
The Buccaneers trailed 2-1 after doubles play as the Sea Warriors (4-2) picked up victories at the Nos. 2-3 flights. Barry's Linda Fritschken and Caroline Wendling beat Vivian Hansen and Magdelana Smejova, 8-3, at the No. 1 pairs spot in a critical win.
Barry won the top three singles flights, including No. 47 Linda Fritschken's three-set comeback victory over No. 8 Zora Vlckova, 5-7, 6-3, 6-0, at the No. 1 spot. Sarah Krohnen outlasted Magdalena Smejova, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) in another gutty win for the Bucs.
Barry's No. 49-ranked Caroline Wendling and No. 43 Olivia Matuszak suffered their first losses of the season -- Matuszak in a wire-to-wire three-set No. 5 flight battle with Ielyzaveta Rybakova, 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
Mona Mansour beat Carrie Shuler in straight sets, 6-2, 6-2, at No. 6 for the Buccaneers' fourth singles victory.
Valladares' 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 7-5 win over Goetti epitomized the determination Barry mustered up all week in Southern California.
"She had opportunities in the first set," Kigel said. "That girl (Goetti) is a very good tennis player."
Unscathed in their first 10 matches of the season, with five wins over ranked opponents, the Buccaneers return to Miami Shores following a Friday night red-eye flight with a little bit more of an edge. But the tests don't stop in SoCal. Barry hosts No. 11 Cal-Pennsylvania at 3 p.m. Tuesday at Buccaneer Tennis Center.
"We're definitely stronger," Kigel said. "We had two really tough matches out here against Fresno Pacific and Hawai'i Pacific. We were a little bit shorthanded, and we were able to come through. We're definitely a better team than we were a week ago."