KISSIMMEE -- It was a defeat, yes, but after having forced the top-ranked team in the nation to a deciding fifth set, Ransom Everglades left Silver Spurs Arena justifiably proud.
Orlando’s Bishop Moore, ranked No. 1 by MaxPreps and 10th by PrepVolleyball, defeated Ransom, 25-21, 20-25, 25-22, 22-25, 15-11, Friday night in a Class 4A state semifinal.
“I’m not going to lie,” Ransom coach Roger Peluso said, “this hurts. But I think you all will agree that we put up a fight.”
The Hornets (31-0) ended Ransom’s 19-match win streak and will go for their first state title since 2000 on Saturday against Tampa’s Berkeley Prep, which beat Bishop Moore in the 2011 state final.
Ransom finished its season at 28-3, but the Raiders — who made their first appearance at state since 1994 — earned respect.
“I would rate Ransom among the top four in the state [in all classes] with the way they performed,” Bishop Moore coach Tanya Jarvis said. “Their blocking was really good.”
For perspective on how dominant Bishop Moore had been before Friday, consider that the Hornets did not lose a single set in three regional playoff matches. In fact, in their previous 25 matches, they had lost a total of just two sets.
But Ransom had 13 blocks to just seven for Bishop Moore, a tribute to the Raiders’ superior middle blockers, Erika and Caroline Sklaver.
Bishop Moore won largely because of the efforts of three players, all of whom have committed to Division I colleges.
The best of the three was 6-2 senior outside hitter Lindsey Owens (Virginia Tech), who had a match-high 37 kills.
Danielle Glinka, a 5-11 senior outside hitter who is going to Dartmouth, had 20 kills. Combined with Owens, they had 57 of the team’s 62 kills.
The other member of the trio is 5-9 junior setter Allie Monserez (South Carolina), who had a match-high 57 assists.
Kathryn Trinka led Ransom with 17 kills. Jess Mandel added 13 kills, Nikki Colonna had 47 assists and Tere Bernace had a match-high 28 digs.
“We came in as underdogs, but we had a lot of confidence,” Trinka said. “I don’t think any of this thought for a second that we were going to lose.”
• Class 3A state semifinal — Orlando’s First Academy d. Westminster Christian, 17-25, 25-23, 25-13, 25-20: Westminster (27-5), ranked No. 1 in the state in 3A, never trailed in the first set and led 19-15 and 20-17 in the second game. But First Academy took over from there.
“I think if I had the answer, we would have won it,” Westminster coach Julie Doan said when asked how the momentum changed. “They’re good. We did everything we thought we could, and it wasn’t enough.”
First Academy (23-8) will attempt to win its fifth consecutive state title when it plays Gainesville’s St. Francis on Saturday.
Westminster seemed ready to fold in the fourth set, but the Warriors — with libero Susie Forbes serving — put together a 7-0 run to take a 19-17 lead.
But the Royals’ Brittany Smith, a 6-0 sophomore, had a match-high 21 kills and a match-best .405 hitting percentage.
Setter Kali Funk, a three-time state champ and a Delaware recruit, recovered after having been called for numerous double-hits and managed a match-high 38 assists.