Countryside, the No. 3 seed, started strong against No. 2 Sarasota Riverview but could not hold a two-game lead and lost 28-26, 25-23, 17-25, 17-25, 15-17.
“We don’t have the size, and that wears you down after a while,” Cougars coach Kaylyn Bayly said, who lost six seniors from last year’s team.
Still, the Cougars (18-9) were confident going into Wednesday’s semifinal after taking the Rams to four games in a loss during the regular season.
Sara Wright played well for Countryside, setting the ball to her hitters.
“We were scrappy and kept fighting for balls,” Bayly said. “We got better as the season went on and hoped to score an upset and move on. We came as close as we possibly could.”