Barry 3, Lock Haven 0

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MIAMI SHORES, Fla. Host and third-ranked Barry University advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Womens Volleyball Tournament thanks to a 30-14, 30-21, 30-28 win over Lock Haven in quarterfinal action Thursday evening at Barrys Health & Sports Center.

The Buccaneers will face #5 Minnesota-Duluth, 3-1 winners over #11 Northern Michigan earlier in the day, in the national semifinal tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.

We came out with tons of emotion and fed off the crowds energy, which was fun it felt like a real college event, said Barry head coach Dave Nichols. I think when you have too much emotion you get a crash after that. After the first game we lost momentum, we lost rhythm, it took us a while to realize to settle down and play our game.

Setter Michelle Rosamiglia paced a balanced Buccaneer offense, which hit .295 overall for the match, with 40 assists. Fernanda Brino led Barry (32-1) with 12 kills and seven digs while Sarah Alexander added 11 kills on a .529 clip. Kelly Dantas chipped in eight kills with no errors for a match-high .667 hitting percentage in addition to three blocks while Melissa Lehman hit five aces.

Li Yizhi led the Eagles (28-4) with a match-high 16 kills and a team-high .387 clip. Kristi Kauffman collected 10 digs while Allison Furry and Kelly Kostelich split the setting duties with 17 and 11 assists, respectively. Lock Haven was held to a .141 hitting percentage and committed 22 errors.

Its difficult for us, or any team, to come in and play the first round in a NCAA tournament on an opponents home court, said Lock Haven head coach Tom Justice. I think we began to adjust well. I was very proud of my team and the way they responded, and I think we showed a lot of poise and in a good position to win the third game. Barry got off to a fast start with a huge amount of emotion and a lot of momentum; it took us a while to blunt that to get down to regular volleyball.

The Buccaneers came out on fire in game one behind the support of its home crowd, running away with a 30-14 win. The Eagles kept things close early on, but Barry used a 10-1 run midway through the game to build a 20-7 lead and never looked back. The Buccaneers, who pounded six aces and out-hit Lock Haven .444 to .040, were paced by Brinos five kills and three digs.

I dont think (the crowd) fazed us we were used to it; weve had a lot of teams that have done the same, said Eagles outside hitter Michelle Deehan. You just got to block it out, its part of sports and any sport you play their going to have a crowd, you just have to play.

Lock Haven settled down in the second game but Barry took 13 of the final 16 points to earn the 30-21 win. The Buccaneers never trailed by more than a point in the game despite the Eagles taking the lead on five occasions. Yizhi led all players with a game-high five kills for LHU, while Alexander led Barry with four.

Barry erased a six-point deficit late in game three en route to a 30-28 victory, despite being out-hit .231 to .188. The Eagles found themselves down by three early on but fought back and took control of the game, thanks in large part to a nine-kill, .571 attacking performance from Yizhi.

We werent playing our best and shanked a couple of passes, said Alexander. You just have to tell yourself focus. The crowd got back into it, and then once we got started we had our rhythm back and were ready to win the game.

Trailing 25-19, the Buccaneers won 10 of the next 13 points, setting the stage for Karla Bersanos fourth kill in the final nine points to clinch the match.

You just want to get through day one; the first round is the hardest for any team, said Nichols. You just want to catch your breath and get through. We had nice moments and sloppy moments too. Anytime you go on a journey, to win something you have to be able to win matches when you dont play your best.

-- Courtesy Barry