As Tampa Prep celebrated its Class A, Region 4 championship Thursday, sophomore Paige Leavy glanced down at the trophy clutched in her teammate's arms.
"Look at the color," Leavy said. "We're so used to silver."
After back-to-back runnerup finishes, the Terrapins finally earned gold, beating Clearwater Central Catholic 4-1 at Hillsborough Community College to secure their first trip to state since 2006.
"We talked about that: Stay in the moment, and don't think ahead to state," Tampa Prep coach Chris Cary said. "I think they did that pretty much."
Leavy topped Isabella Dohse at No. 1 (6-2, 6-4), and Izabelle Baskette (No. 2) and Meaghan DaSilva (No. 4) churned out wins for the Terrapins. That put the victory - and pressure - on freshman Allie Blair.
With a trip to state on the line, Blair was locked in a close match with Bella Collares-Williams at No. 5. Not only did Blair have to play the biggest match of her career in front of her teammates and fans, she had to battle aching knees.
"Just do my best and pull through," Blair said.
Blair did that, forcing a miscue on the final point to win 6-3, 6-3 and cause the Terrapins to erupt in cheers from the bleachers.
Senior Catherine Yang earned CCC's only victory. After splitting the first two sets and being tied 6-6 in the tiebreaker, she won the final four points to edge Yasmine Hamzah at No. 3.