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Final push powers Bucs

Some people might have thought Berkeley Prep would have run Tampa Prep out of the gym. After all, we're talking about the defending state champions with a veteran front line that towers over 6 feet.

Those people, however, would not have included anyone at Tampa Prep.

The Terrapins not only proved they could hang with Berkeley, but proved they could have beaten them with just a few more kills or digs or blocks.

Then again, this was Berkeley Prep vs. Tampa Prep and these things are always tight, no matter what the records or lineups look like.

This match went five games with the Bucs finally pulling it out: 25-22, 25-16, 21-25, 26-28, 15-13.

"We lost but we really put forth a winning effort tonight," Tampa Prep coach Mike Flynn said. "This will get us going towards the rest of the season."

Berkeley Prep appeared it might make it a short match after it took a two-game lead.

But after some Terrapin defensive adjustments and a slight letdown by Berkeley's offense, Tampa Prep kicked it up several notches.

"I thought our middles were really active in game two and then we sort of got away from using them," Berkeley Prep coach Randy Dagostino said.

Berkeley's junior 6-foot-4 outside hitter, Janet Okogbaa, was a force, leading the Bucs with 21 kills and five blocks. But the offense was spread around as seen in the 43 assists by Buc setter Katie Theofilos.

Tampa Prep was led by senior outside hitter Jess Thomas who had 23 kills and 19 digs.