VTM V5 Confusion over remote combat

I'm using basic combat.

I have player A and a bully. They both have a group of 7 dice. They are in ranged combat. Both throw 7 dice to whoever wins the most and the margin is the damage. I get that part.

I thought the rules explained this competition run as a summary of the two fighters fighting, attacking and dodging.

So this is where I get confused. Same scenario Player A and hooligan. Both have dice groups of 7 and shoot again.

This time player A does not have coverage. In the book says that no cover gives a -2 to the reserve of players. This is where I am confused. Both shoot at each other as before and treat the combat as a remote combat contest. Before, they only released their dice of 7 and called it one day. But now, given that player A does not have coverage, player A must roll a defense roll as well or his attack group of 7 is supposed to be 2 dice. Neither option makes sense.