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Berkeley, AHN go to final

Berkeley Prep and Academy of Holy Names had little trouble dispatching their opponents Tuesday, setting up an all-Tampa final in the Class 3A, District 9 tournament.

Berkeley Prep (18-10) needed less than 30 minutes to defeat host Clearwater Central Catholic, using solid serving and net play to cruise 15-1, 15-6.

"I was a little concerned that they'd be thinking ahead, but they played pretty steady," Buccaneers coach Randy Dagostino said of his players. "We passed well and served well, and if you do those things well you're going to have some nice chances."

After being leveled in the first game, the Marauders (9-20) hung tough early in the second, scoring five straight points to draw within 7-6.

After a CCC mistake gave Berkeley Prep another point, sophomore Yoshiko Ozawa closed out the game with seven straight points on serve.

In the opener, St. Petersburg Catholic (10-13) gave Academy of Holy Names a scare in the first game, running out to an early 9-1 lead.

The Jaguars (19-10) fought back into contention after Nicole Bergmann took control at the net, and Sarah Tarrant reeled off eight straight points on serve to tie the game. Academy fell behind a second time before rallying to tie the game at 12 and, after taking the lead, capped a 15-12 win on a kill by Nicole Mullarkey.

The Jaguars completed the sweep with a 15-4 win in the second game.

"I give credit to St. Pete Catholic, they played well. But I think in the end they had trouble keeping up," Jaguars coach Greg Latter said. "They served the ball really well to start off, but with the seniors that we have I knew it was just a matter of time before we regrouped."

The district championship will be held 7 p.m. Thursday at Clearwater Central Catholic. Both teams will advance to the regionals.