Nov. 18, 2010

Courtesy of Lynn Athletics

Tampa, Fla. -
Lynn rallied from two sets down to defeat Barry (24-26, 29-31, 27-25, 25-19, 19-17) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday night at Tampa's Bob Martinez Center. It is the second time in program-history and the first time since 2007 that Lynn has advanced to the Round of 32.

A well-balanced attack featuring 17 kills by Kala Abdell, 16 by Katie Bradley and 14 by Haley Pratt overshadowed a 36-kill performance by Barry's Julia Teixiera. Abdell also had 20 digs while Bradley had 13 for double-doubles. Devon Woolard had a double-double 54 assists and 16 digs while Lacy Redwine had a match-high 23 digs.

Lynn outhit Barry, .181 to .117 and recorded 13 blocks to Barry's 11. Gagnon recorded a career-high nine blocks (four solo) for the Fighting Knights.

Despite five kills by Pratt, Barry took the first set, 26-24, as Julia Teixiera had eight kills for the Buccaneers. Lynn, who hit .130 in the opener to Barry's .227, also got four kills on seven swings from Semprini and a game-high seven digs from Redwine.

Down 16-15, momentum shifted to the Fighting Knights' favor with four straight points until a Barry timeout at 19-16 in LU's favor. The teams would trade points but after an ace by Gagnon, Barry went on a 3-0 run to tie the score at 22 and force a Lynn timeout.

Lynn would have a set point at 24-23, but a service error followed by a block and a kill by Barry gave the bad guys the frame. The first stanza featured 16 ties and eight lead changes.

Abdell led Lynn in the second set with seven kills, but she would be outdone by Barry's Teixeira who had eight, as BU won the frame, 31-29. Pratt and Gagnon added three kills apiece from the middle and Redwine collected another seven digs in the session. The stanza featured another 13 ties and four lead changes to total 29 and 12, respectively through a pair of sets.

After battling back from a three-point lead to tie on three separate occasions, Lynn took its first lead of the frame at 19-18 after an attacking error by Barry. After a Buc timeout, Lynn would score the next two to take its own three-point lead but BU battled back to tie at 22 apiece. Lynn would have another set point at 24-22 but a service error and a kill by Teixiera tied the score once again at 24 and forced a Fighting Knights timeout. After five ties and two set points by each team, Barry would prevail on a kill.

The Blue & White picked up the defense to take the third set, 27-25, holding Barry to a -.019 hitting percentage. Bradley led the offense for Lynn with five kills on 19 swings while Abdell chipped in with three but also posted seven digs. Gagnon also recorded three total blocks while Woolard and Redwine recorded five digs apiece.

Lynn controlled the third frame early jumping out to a 5-1 lead but Barry would fight back to tie the score at eight. The Fighting Knights would then regain momentum at take an 18-13 lead to force a Buccaneer timeout. The break seemed to work as BU went on an 8-2 run to take a 21-19 advantage. Lynn then scored the next four points on back-to-back kills by Abdell followed by two straight blocks by Gagnon to force a Barry timeout up 23-21. After three set points, Lynn would finally take the set on a kill by Bradley.

The Fighting Knights hit a match-high .320 in the fourth set to win, 25-19. Bradley and Pratt led once again with four kills apiece followed by two and a block by Abdell. Five service errors by Barry helped the Fighting Knights as well.

Much like the previous set, Lynn controlled early but Barry fought back to tie. LU would then go on a run to take a five-point lead only to be cut to two, this time at 19-17. Kills by Abdell, Gagnon and Semprini gave Lynn a 23-17 lead and then its first set point at 24-18. A service error by Barry gave the Blue & White the set.

In the deciding set, Lynn forced a Barry timeout with a 7-4 lead as Woolard led off with an ace followed by a block by Gagnon and Abdell and kills by Abdell, Semprini and Bradley. An attack error by BU gave LU an 8-5 advantage as teams switched sides. Barry cut the lead to 8-7 but Abdell extended the lead back to 10-7 with two kills. A solo block by Gagnon, her fourth solo and eighth total of the night, gave Lynn an 11-7 lead and forced another Red & Black timeout. After another LU block, BU cut the lead to 12-10 but Semprini extended it to 13-10 with a kill. An attack error by Barry gave Lynn a 14-10 lead and a match point but two straight Buc points forced a Lynn timeout at 14-12. An ace and attacking error then tied the match at 14 apiece. A ball-handling error gave Barry a match point but a kill by Gagnon and a BU error gave LU at match point. A Semprini kill gave Lynn another match point at 17-16 before Barry tied it once again with a kill. Two kills by Pratt then gave Lynn the victory.

Lynn (21-9) advances to the second round where they will play either Tampa or Kentucky State at 7 pm. Fans can follow the action live at www.LynnFightingKnights.com.