The familiar isn't always reassuring.
For the Bishop Verot volleyball team, it's downright disheartening.
For the fourth consecutive season, the Vikings squared off in a regional final against state power Tampa Berkeley Prep. For the fourth consecutive season, the visiting Buccaneers eliminated Bishop Verot, winning 29-27, 25-18, 25-23 to win the Region 4A-3 championship and advance to next week's FHSAA Finals in Kissimmee.
"We know every year were going to have to go through Bishop Verot," Berkeley coach John Coup said. "And we know they're going to give us a match-and-a-half. We've had some great battles over the years."
Unfortunately for the Vikings, the Buccaneers have won them all with Saturday's victory improving their postseason mark versus Verot to 8-0.
Facing such a formidable foe, it's imperative to get off to a fast start and that's what the Vikings did, matching Berkeley point-for-point in a heated opening set. But the Buccaneers (18-11) used consecutive kills by junior captain Sindey Brown to pull out a 29-27 win.
"Volleyball is a game of momentum," Bishop Verot coach Wynn DePasquale said.
"We had a game plan that the girls executed amazingly but we couldn't finish it out."
In the second set, Berkeley cleaned up its unforced errors while the Vikings struggled with their passing game, falling into an 0-2 hole.
Bishop Verot built a 20-14 lead in the third set but Berkeley reeled off six points in a row to tie it, then finish off the Vikings.
"In the the face of the end of their season and, for the seniors, the end of their high school careers, they played hard and they played to win the whole time," DePasquale said.
Senior outside hitter Malorie Fry had 16 kills and 11 digs for Bishop Verot, while junior setter Ashlyn Brown added 32 assists.