Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

State volleyball: Berkeley Prep sweeps into final

Berkeley Prep junior Lindsay Young slams a ball over Florida Christian senior Cristina Abreu during the first game of the Bucs’ semifinal sweep.


Berkeley Prep junior Lindsay Young slams a ball over Florida Christian senior Cristina Abreu during the first game of the Bucs’ semifinal sweep.

LAKELAND — Christina Theofilos says she feels like she's been on the Berkeley Prep volleyball team forever. The Buccaneers senior setter came up to the varsity as an eighth grader, and her final high school game today could be her most memorable.

The past three years, Berkeley's season ended with a loss at the Lakeland Center. The same court that has held so much disappointment could be the site of the Bucs' first state championship win since 2003.

"I will take winning states my senior year over any year," said Theofilos, the Bucs' sole starting senior. "It would just feel amazing."

The Bucs, ranked 14th in the nation by, advanced to today's 2:30 p.m. state final by beating Miami Florida Christian 25-11, 25-12, 25-15, led by freshman Jordan Burgess' 14 kills, 11 digs and thee aces. To win their 13th state championship, the Bucs (28-2) will have to go through a familiar roadblock: Orlando Lake Highland Prep (24-7). The Highlanders have ended the Bucs' season the past three years, last year in the state semis and two years before in the final.

"We've got some business to take care of (today)," Berkeley coach Randy Dagostino said.

Berkeley has beaten Lake Highland Prep twice this season, once in four games during the Berkeley Premier, then in three games in a home match. Those matches were much different than last year's state semifinal, when the Bucs said they let the spotlight of the state tournament get to them.

"We know that if we all play the best we can possibly play, it will go our way; it just seems the past three years, we pretty much play the (Lakeland) Center instead of the team on the other side of the net," said Theofilos, who had 30 assists Friday. "Last year, we just beat ourselves. I don't think we could make two positive points in a row."

Berkeley can end the Highlanders' run of three straight state titles, and in the process give Theofilos, their two-year floor captain, a win to remember before she heads off to play at Notre Dame.

"This is everything she's worked for," junior middle hitter Lindsay Young (nine kills) said of Theofilos. "It's not just about winning the state championship. It's about winning for her."

Berkeley Prep def>> Florida Christian

25-11, 25-12, 25-15

State volleyball: Berkeley Prep sweeps into final 11/21/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 10:09am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Playoff ambitions evident in opener for Zephyrhills, Wiregrass Ranch


    WESLEY CHAPEL — A new football season in Pasco County begins Friday night, but this one promises to be like none before it — with more math than ever. A new playoff system emphasizes schedule strength, making non-district tilts particularly important.

    Wiregrass Ranch wide receiver Jordan Miner catches a pass in spring practice at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel on Monday, May 1, 2017.
  2. Dirk Koetter says Bucs used team meeting to discuss social issues


    Four days before their preseason home opener against the Cleveland Browns, which had 12 players not stand for the national anthem prior to their last game, the Bucs used their team meeting to discuss social issues that might have led to that demonstration, coach Dirk Koetter said.

    "The main thing is we have to respect everybody's opinion," Dirk Koetter said, "because everybody is not going to agree." [AP photo]
  3. Rookie tight end Antony Auclair making case to stick with Bucs


    Don't let his modest preseason stats fool you: Antony Auclair, the undrafted rookie tight end from Canada is making a strong case to stick around on the Bucs' 53-man roster this season.

    Bucs tight end Antony Auclair (82) collides with a defender following a catch during training camp. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  4. Calm (Largo) and clamorous (St. Petersburg) converge Friday night


    If Largo and St. Petersburg high schools are going to be successful this football season, it will be because of defense. And if those defenses are going to be successful, it will be because of secondaries that are potentially the best in Pinellas County.

    St. Petersburg High School CB Anthony Johnson  practices with his team Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.
  5. Rays morning after: Secret to Alex Colome's success is staying cool, calm, collected


    The ninth inning couldn't have started much worse for Rays closer Alex Colome on Tuesday, who took over with a 6-4 lead and quickly allowed a single and a double to bring the tying run to the plate.

    Alex Colome said the key to his effectiveness is not altering anything, especially his locked-in focus on getting the final outs.