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Tampa Bay Juniors club volleyball team has strong finish at Junior Nationals

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Tue. July 19, 2011 | Eduardo A. Encina

The Tampa Bay Juniors 18 Black girls club volleyball team placed fifth in this month's 18 Open Division of the USA Volleyball Junior Nationals in Atlanta.

But the Tampa Bay Juniors' performance there is just one indicator of its success this club season.

Led by Berkeley Prep rising seniors Jordan Burgess (Stanford) and Mackenzie Dagostino (Maryland), who where both named to the all-tournament team, the team went 8-2. They won their first six pool-play matches and went 6-1 in their pool, earning the pool's top seed before losing to eventual champion Sports Shack of Beverly Hills, Calif., 27-25, 18-25, 17-15.

That loss forced Tampa Bay Juniors to play for fifth place, and the team won its final two matches in two sets.

USA Volleyball also compiled a composite ratio to rank each team's performance at the tournament, and Tampa bay Juniors' 1.2022 was second best in the field, trailing only Sports Shack (1.2543)

PrepVolleyball.com also came out with its own composite rankings for the club season, and the Tampa Bay Juniors 18 Black was  third in the nation.

The team also included Tampa Bay area standouts like Riverview MB Sarah Burrington (Florida State), Plant OH Alex Johnson (Georgetown), East Lake OH Lauran Eschenroeder (Savannah College of Art and Design), Berkeley L Natasha Rowland (Cornell), Tampa Prep OH Gabby Fernandez (Florida Southern), Berkeley OH Amber Mirabello (Loyola Marymount), Berkeley S Ginny Willis (Princeton),  Berkeley DS Katie O'Drobinak and Tampa Catholic S Star Steele.

Also, the Tampa Bay Juniors 17 Invaders boys team placed 11th at the Boys Junior Nationals held in Minneapolis.

In other volleyball news, Berkeley's Burgess, Mackenzie Dagostino, rising sophomore Sidney Brown and boys player Kyle Dagostino are leaving Wednesday for the USA Volleyball High Performance Camp in Tucson, Ariz.

-- EDUARDO A. ENCINA (eencina@sptimes.com; Twitter: @EddieHometeam)

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