WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Barry University unveiled its new look with a competitive fire that leads to believe good things are brewing for the Buccaneers.
But on this, the opening day of the 2012 season, the Bucs didn't have enough to get by the No. 7 team in the country in Washburn. And a back-and-forth battle with Northwest Missouri State came up short as well. Barry lost to Washburn, 25-23, 25-17, 25-22, in the season opener at Palm Beach Atlantic's Hyatt Place Classic. The Buccaneers (0-2) then used a spirited third-set comeback to push Northwest Missouri State to four sets before succumbing, 25-23, 25-12, 21-25, 25-18.
The Bucs hit .202 against Washburn, putting away 30 kills, while the Blues attacked at a .227 clip. Washburn hit .379 in the second set, and Barry put away nine balls with one error for a .250 percentage in the opener.
Barry trailed 21-17 in the first set, but drew within a point on three straight Laine Cielena serves. Washburn closed the set out on a kill by Jessica Fey.
In the second set, the Bucs fell behind 11-1, and never recovered. Washburn pounded 17 kills, and Barry managed eight in the middle set.
Barry's Tashalyn Begon served up an ace in the third set to knot the score at 13-13. Cielena, who finished with nine kills, three blocks and a whopping .692 attacking percentage., slammed home a winner to keep the score deadlocked at 16-16. It remained tied through a pair of sideouts, but Washburn's Jessica Kopp delivered a kill to push her team up, 21-18.
Tania Torres' kill pulled Barry within two before Hillary Hughes, who had 16 kills and seven digs for the Blues, put away a ball to extend Washburn's lead to 22-19. Torres served three straight points as Barry inched within 23-22, but Washburn collected the next two points to seal it.
Torres had seven kills, and Mima Hajdukovic 26 assists. Kopp had 10 putaways for the Blues. Jasmine Serna had 15 digs.
Against Northwest Missouri State, Barry pounded 15 kills in the opening set to put together a .333 attack percentage, while the Bearcats hit .303 with 15 kills of their own.
Barry led 11-6 in the first set after Torres put away a ball, prompting a Bearcats' timeout. But Northwest Missouri State's Abby Graves kill and an ace by Tori Beckman tied it at 17-17. Graves' kill after a run of sideouts pushed Northwest Missouri St. ahead 20-19, only to have Torres serve up an ace four points later to push Barry back up 22-21.
But NWMSU closed it out, winning four of the last five points.
After letting the second set get away in a hurry, Barry responded with a bounce-back win in the third set, climbing in front by five to mount a 21-16 edge. The Bearcats reeled off five straight points to tie it at 21-21, but the Bucs weathered the storm when Torres' slam set the stage for a four-point runoff, marked by three Bearcats' errors, to pull Barry within 2-1 in the match.
In the final set, Barry tied it at 16-16 on Ashley Carrero's serve. But that's as close as the see-saw battle got before the Bearcats captured nine of the last 11 points.
Torres had eight kills, while Cielena and Carrero each had 7. Cielena had six blocks, and Torres four. Mariana Lisboa had 15 digs, and Hajdukovic 27 assists for the Bucs, who had 36 kills to Northwest Missouri's 48.
Barry continues play at the Hyatt Classic Saturday at noon against Southern Indiana. The Bucs conclude the tourney with a 2 p.m. match against Lewis.