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Volleyball: Burgess gives Berkeley volleyball program a rare first

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Mon. December 5, 2011 | Eduardo A. Encina

Volleyball: Burgess gives Berkeley volleyball program a rare first

TAMPA – Despite the bay-area record 15 state volleyball titles, all the players who have gone on to play collegiately and the 831 career wins under coach Randy Dagostino, Berkeley Prep outside hitter Jordan Burgess has offered Tampa Bay’s most prestigious volleyball program one first.

Burgess was awarded this year’s Florida Dairy Farmers Miss Volleyball award Monday morning at Berkeley’s auditorium, becoming the first repeat winner in the award’s 20-year history.

In front of the high school student body, Burgess received the honor, given annually to the top player in the state. Dagostino also won his second straight Florida Dairy Farmers Coach of the Year award, the third time he’s won that award.

“It’s a huge honor,” Burgess said. “I know there are some great women who have come before me to win this award so I’m very excited.”

The 6-foot-1 Burgess, who has signed to play at Stanford, won three straight state titles during her high school career and leaves as Berkeley’s leader in career kills (1,792). She led the Bucs with 5.9 kills a game and 3.9 digs a game. She also tallied 48 aces (second on team) and 32 blocks (third on team).

“Jordan is an amazing ambassador for the sport of women’s volleyball,” Dagostino said. “She’s such a hard, hard worker. Every day, she’s does exactly the same thing, whether it’s a practice or a scrimmage or a game. She just plays it every single day. She’s such a good role model for someone who is a part of a team, for a player of her stature to work as hard as she does.”

Burgess has also been named an Under Armour first-team All-American, will likely repeat at Gatorade state player of the year and receive more state and national honors to come.

“It’s bittersweet definitely because I’ve had a great time at Berkeley for the last four years and it’s been an honor to be a part of it,” Burgess said. “But I’ll be moving on to something different and hopefully something great will come from that too.”

Last month, Burgess led the Bucs, which ended the season ranked No. 5 in the nation by ESPNHS and No. 6 by MaxPreps, with 15 kills in Berkeley’s three-set Class 4A state championship match win over No. 8 Orlando Bishop Moore. Berkeley also owned wins over the eventual 8A state champ (East Lake) and the 6A champs (Tallahassee Leon) and haven’t lost a game to an in-state opponent since 2009.

“I think it was the fact that they’ve played so many tough matches every single year,” Dagostino said. “We’ve tried to make our scrimmages really competitive and our practices really competitive. I don’t want to say it’s like a war, but it’s very competitive. So there’s rarely a time you come up against where you really say wow to your opponent. It’s one of the things that comes with the territory.”

Reach Times staff writer Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@sptimes.com and follow him on Twitter at @EddieHometeam.

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