TAMPA — In posting its fourth win in as many tries against Indian Rocks Christian this season, Tampa Prep mostly had its strengths working: good serving, good passing and good defense.
But the few times the Terrapins lapsed, the Golden Eagles made things difficult for them.
A mere two points from pushing its rival to a deciding fifth game, Indian Rocks Christian suffered a defensive lapse, then watched as Tampa Prep scored the match's last three points to post a 25-20, 21-25, 25-13, 25-23 victory in the Class 2A region semifinals Tuesday.
Tampa Prep advances to face Northside Christian in the region finals Saturday.
Tampa Prep (15-10) jumped out to early leads in all four games. And after the teams split the first two games, the Terrapins jumped to a 7-2 advantage in Game 3 and never looked back, cruising to a 12-point win.
Things seemed to be going the same way one game later when, after a long volley, Tampa Prep secured the point and a 15-7 lead.
But the Golden Eagles (17-12) stormed back, outscoring Tampa Prep 16-7 to claim a 23-22 lead, appearing primed to take the game.
But two unforced errors on Tampa Prep serves did in the Golden Eagles, allowing Tampa Prep to come back and take the win.
Hitters Latora Lofgren and Ericka McGriff each had 13 kills while middle hitter Savannah Cantrell added seven blocks. Setter Caroline Dillabough posted 36 assists and libero Nikki Cardoso had eight digs. Marisa Moralobo led the Golden Eagles with 13 kills and 10 digs.
"We got too comfortable," said Tampa Prep coach Mike Flynn.
"But we were able to get the win. It was good for us to experience that. We played well overall but the girls know they have to play better to move on."