MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – Barry University’s volleyball team will open the season Friday, Sept. 5 against Barton in the Hyatt Place Classic hosted by Palm Beach Atlantic. The Bucs also play NCAA Division II National Tournament qualifiers Bridgeport and Kentucky State as well as Quincy in the two-day tournament in West Palm Beach.
Barry’s schedule features eight teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament, including five from the Sunshine State Conference.
Bridgeport went 22-3, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where the Purple Knights fell in five sets to New Haven. Kentucky State went 23-19, losing in three sets to Tampa in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Thorobrettes went 15-1 in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference a season ago.
On the second weekend of the season, Barry competes at the East Stroudsburg Tournament in East Stroudsburg, Pa., where they will see the likes of Southern New Hampshire, West Chester, East Stroudsburg and Pace.
On Friday, Sept. 19, Barry opens the SSC season at home versus Eckerd at 7 p.m., signaling the first of nine home matches that dot the Bucs’ schedule this season at Health & Sports Center. That will begin a three-match home stretch. Barry plays Rollins at 4 p.m. the next day, and PBA on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. Eckerd, Rollins and Palm Beach Atlantic all qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2013. Eckerd was 20-10 last season. Rollins, which along with Bridgeport, Tampa and Florida Southern, mark four opponents on the Bucs’ schedule who advanced past the opening round of the national tournament, was 23-11 a year ago. PBA was 29-4 in 2013.
After four straight conference matches on the road, the Buccaneers return home to meet the likes of South Florida-area league rival Nova Southeastern Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. before heading up I-95 to play PBA the next night at 7 p.m. to complete the home-and-home series.
Perennial SSC and South Region power Tampa, who advanced to the NCAA Championship match two years ago and the quarterfinals last season, visits the HSC confines Oct. 11 for a 4 p.m. matinee. The Spartans were 32-2 last year, losing to eventual national champ Concordia-St. Paul in four sets in the quarters.
On Oct. 17-18, the Buccaneers will play in the South Region Crossover at Rollins in Winter Park, Fla. Barry meets Christian Brothers, West Alabama and West Georgia in that two-day weekend volleyball gathering.
The Buccaneers return to SSC play Oct. 24-25 for a pair of road matches against Rollins and Eckerd in Winter Park and St. Petersburg, respectively. On Oct. 31, Barry begins a four-match home stand against Florida Tech, Lynn and NCAA qualifiers Saint Leo and Florida Southern on back-to-back weekends before finishing up the regular season on the road at Nova and Tampa Nov. 11 and 14.
Saint Leo was 23-11 last season, losing to Florida Southern in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. Florida Southern, which bowed out of the national tournament with a second round exit, following a three-set loss to Tampa, went 22-14 last season.
Barry finished 11-17 overall last year with a 4-12 league record. The Buccaneers are aiming for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010.