Barry won its third Division II Women's Volleyball Championship -- the second at home -- with a four-game triumph over previously undefeated Truman December 4.
The Buccaneers lost the first game to the Bulldogs, 30-25, before going on to take the next three, 30-21, 30-25 and 30-24, on their home court.
Fernanda Brino led the Buccaneers with 24 kills, and the team posted a .324 hitting percentage for the match. Karla Bersano contributed 15 kills and Samanta Tucillo had 14.
Barry coach Dave Nichols said playing at home definitely helped propel his team to the title. Barry also won on its home floor in 1995 to go along with a third championship the Buccaneers won at Grand Valley State in 2001.
"Every single game this year, we were able to reach in for a source of energy," he said. "Every time we got a streak going, I felt that the crowd added one point to that. Absolutely it was huge, and it brought the best out in the players."
Jessica Sears led Truman with 22 kills in her last match for the Bulldogs. She had solid support from Tiffany Graham and Sarah Shearman, who each had 11 kills, and Micaela Walter with 10. Seniors Rebecca KnefelKamp, Annie Nickolai and Lauren Dickbernd also played their final game at Truman as part of a senior class that posted a 133-17 record over the last four years.
Truman Coach Qi Wang said that even though his team was undefeated coming into the championship, they knew the title wasn't a foregone conclusion.
"We know, no matter what, that you always have to go to the end," he said. "Overall, we are satisfied with our team, over the whole season. On this match, I have to give the credit to Barry -- they are a great team and very experienced."
Going into the championship match, Barry was ranked third in the country and Truman was second. Truman defeated first-ranked Nebraska-Kearney, 30-22, 30-22, 30-28, in the semifinals. Barry won its semifinal match over Minnesota Duluth, 30-18, 30-26, 30-28. This was the fourth appearance in the championship game for Barry.
Barry's Brino, Bersano and Michele Rosamiglia were named to the all-tournament team along with Truman's Sears, Shearman and Graham. Callie Zwettler and Vicky Bragleman were selected from Minnesota Duluth, as were Nebraska-Kearney's Erin Gudmudson and Erin Arnold. Li Yizhi from Lock Haven and Briana Harris from Cal State San Bernardino also earned spots on the squad.
Neb.-Kearney def. Cal St. San B'dino, 30-24, 30-27, 22-30, 30-24; Truman def. Queens (N.Y.), 30-16, 30-26, 33-31; Barry def. Lock Haven, 30-14, 30-21, 30-28; Minn. Duluth def. Northern Mich., 30-25, 30-26, 32-34, 30-24.
Truman def Neb.-Kearney, 30-22, 30-22, 30-28; Barry def. Minn. Duluth, 30-18, 30-26, 30-28.