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Region volleyball: Berkeley Prep 3, Fort Myers Bishop Verot 1

Bucs get revenge after last year's premature exit vs. the same team.

TAMPA – Since the season started, Berkeley Prep senior outside hitter Jenna Hampton and her teammates have had Fort Myers Bishop Verot on their minds.

The Buccaneers got their payback in 93 minutes on Wednesday.

Berkeley Prep, whose playoff run ended in 2016 with a three-game region semifinal loss at Bishop Verot, ended the Vikings' season with a 25-17, 21-25, 25-13, 25-18 victory to advance to the Class 5A region finals.

The Bucs (27-2) face King's Academy on Tuesday.

Berkeley Prep coach Mackenzie Dagostino said the better team did not win last year when Bishop Verot eliminated the Buc 27-25, 27-25, 25-21.

"I think that was a chip on our girls' shoulders," Dagostino said. "Going (to Fort Myers) last year, we were the better team. But (Bishop Verot) played much better than we did, so they deserved to win.

"It doesn't really matter who's on the other side of the net for us (now), because we want to win no matter who's there."

After taking a 2-1 lead in games, Berkeley Prep broke open the deciding game with an 8-0 run to snap a 6-all tie. The Bucs’ dominance at the net showed with Ruby Agholor smashing back-to-back kills, and Kellyn Trowse and Isabella Samson adding kills. An ace by Hampton capped the outburst.

Bishop Verot (20-6) never got closer than four points after that, the final time at 20-16. A kill by Amanda Phegley ended the match.

"We've been thinking about this game from the start of the season," said Hampton, a Penn State commit. "We knew they were going to be good, and that we would play them eventually.

"It helps when you have a 6-(foot)-4 middle (Phegley). They go after her, and then they leave me open. Amanda played a great game. . . . That was big. Grace (Varsames) did a great job spreading the ball around."

Hampton, who ended the first and third games with kills, had 14 kills for Berkeley Prep. Phegley led with 18 kills and Trowse added 11. Varsames had 53 assists.

"We have 10 seniors, and a majority of those girls are hitters," Dagostino said. "They've been playing together for so long and they have that comfort with each other."