"Honestly, I thought that we were probably going to lose, but I just put in all I got and really fought for it pretending that it was the state championship," said Bengals' junior outside hitter Bri Ingles, who finished with 10 kills.
But Brighton (12-1, 4-0) furiously rallied back from the brink, forced that fifth set, and eventually won the Region 3 match 20-25, 21-25, 25-15, 28-26, 15-11.
Senior Dani Barton, who will play at the University of Utah, smacked 30 kills to lead the Bengals. Fernandez, however, believed that a diversification of the Brighton attack including Ingles, middle Corinne Larsen and even setter Emma Dunn turned the tide of the match.
"That was the difference," Fernandez said. "We spread the offense and, those last three games, we got kills from other people. The first two, it was one girl.
"She (Barton) is a heckuva girl, but we do need more than just her," he added.
Down by 10 in the fourth, Brighton scored eight straight points, which included three kills from Barton and two from Dunn.
Bingham (6-7, 3-1) still had an opportunity to win the match after a kill from Sisi Kaili and an ace by Naomi Glasker put the Miners up 26-25 in the fourth. But Ingles, who plays at strong side hitter when Barton is in the back row, got a kill to even the score. Ingles then got a service ace to put the Bengals up 27-26 and the match then went five on a Bingham hitting error.
"Every team usually focuses on Dani, because she's our strongest player," Ingles said. "We all have to put in our best effort. I just focused on putting in my best effort to contribute."
Brighton burst to an 8-2 lead in the fifth and, although Bingham closed to within two points at the end, the Bengals clinched the match on two hitting errors from the visitors.
"We should have won," Bingham coach Melissa Glasker said.
With a very balanced attack, the Miners got 11 kills from Kaili and 10 kills each from Journey Tupea, Annissa Kehl and Seleisa Elisaia while freshman middle Jada Suguturaga added eight.
In the end, though, Glasker was looking for the attackers to come forward.
"Some of my kids responded, but I just need them all to step up to the plate," the Bingham coach said. "When you're in a really close match, you should beg for the ball.
"If you don't want it, it's going to find you," Glasker said. "We've just got to figure out how to get them to really want the ball."
• Brighton lost the first two sets and was down 20-10 in the fourth, still behind 2-1, before rallying for the win.
• It was the third match in a row between the Region 3 rivals to go all five sets.
• Dani Barton led the Bengals with 30 kills while Bingham got 10 kills or more from four players.