TAMPA — It seemed inevitable that two of the top teams from ESPN's Fab 50 rankings would square off in the final of the Berkeley Premier Volleyball Tournament.
So when they met Saturday it wasn't a surprise that host Berkeley Prep and Orlando Bishop Moore battled for five games, with the deciding game featuring 13 ties and 14 lead changes.
Berkeley Prep persevered 20-25, 25-14, 21-25, 25-16 and 22-20.
"I told my team beforehand that it certainly could go to a Game 5, but I didn't realize it was going to be that (kind of) Game 5," Berkeley Prep coach Randy Dagostino said. "That's just the game of volleyball. The momentum shifts are just goofy that way."
After Maura Mulligan's kill gave Bishop Moore a 14-12 lead in Game 5, Dagostino called a timeout to regroup his players.
"He said, 'This is our home court. This is our tournament,' and we responded," outside hitter Jordan Burgess said. "We haven't won it with this group of girls, and this is was our chance."
The Hornets' Lindsey Owens committed a serving error after the timeout and Burgess blasted consecutive kills to put the Buccaneers up 15-14. Burgess led the Bucs with 33 kills and had 14 digs, earning tournament MVP honors.
Tied at 20, Berkeley Prep's Sidney Brown had an uncontested kill and Bishop Moore's Anna Lausberg made a desperation dig, which landed out of bounds on Berkeley's side to end the match.
"Bishop Moore was amazing," Burgess said. "They put up such a huge fight, and I cannot wait for the state tournament because I know they're going to be there."