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TAMPA - Mercy Academy, the Kentucky state runnersup a season ago, had little trouble Saturday in the Berkeley Premier, winning the title in four games from Orlando Lake Highland Prep.
Mercy, from Louisville, won nine straight games during the tournament's opening day Friday. On Saturday, Mercy needed five games to top Winter Park in the semifinals before stopping Lake Highland in four games.
Host Berkeley Prep advanced to the semifinals before losing to Lake Highland. After opening Day 2 with a win against Ft. Lauderdale's St. Thomas Aquinas, the Buccaneers fell to Lake Highland in the Gold Bracket semifinals, then to Winter Park in three games in the third-place contest.
"Lake Highland was hot," Berkeley Prep coach Randy Dagostino said. "They had a very good tournament and they just outplayed us."
While the Bucs finished among the top four, Plant rebounded after being knocked out of the Gold Bracket to finish in fifth. East Lake, which registered wins against Tampa Prep and Fort Myers Evangelical Christian, placed seventh.
Defending tournament champion Tampa Prep, which had two losses on the opening day, rebounded to defeat Palm Harbor University to place 13th overall. PHU, meanwhile, finished 15th.
"It was a good tournament," Dagostino said. "There was very good volleyball played and Mercy Academy was outstanding. They played very well on both days."