Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Volleyball tourney gets attention from around the country

Berkeley Prep’s Christina Theofilos dives for a ball at last year’s tournament.


Berkeley Prep’s Christina Theofilos dives for a ball at last year’s tournament.

TAMPA — Tampa Prep volleyball coach Mike Flynn has been fielding e-mails since December — from far-off places like Pennsylvania and Texas — from teams wanting to play in the Tampa Bay Invitational.

As the tournament enters its 24th year, it still is one of the premier high school events in the Southeast because of its deep pool of state contenders.

"It's not only the top eight teams," Flynn said. "What's amazing is that teams eight to 16 always seem to get two or three upsets a year."

And this is just the reason former longtime Tampa Prep volleyball coach Carol Chalu, now the school's athletic director, organized the event — to give teams top-level competition as playoffs loom.

"The event had stayed true to the tradition of including state volleyball powers," Flynn said.

Though Tampa Prep, which has spent the season playing big-school competition, is seeded ninth in the 16-team field and enters the weekend just 8-7, the purpose of the tournament is as poignant as ever.

"When we get to our class, you want to be ready," Flynn said. "We want to be to the point where (being tied) 23-23 doesn't scare us."


Tampa Bay Invitational

When: Friday-Saturday

Where: University of Tampa Bob Martinez Center

Format: Sixteen teams, including host Tampa Prep, Durant and Berkeley Prep, will compete in pool play Friday (action starts at 3 p.m.), then advance to various brackets (gold for the winners) Saturday. The championship is at 2:45 p.m.

Four teams to watch

Berkeley Prep (15-1): The Buccaneers, whose only loss was to Louisville (Ky.) Mercy in the Berkeley Premier final, are the top-seeded team in the draw.

Timber Creek (16-1): Orlando team is ranked No. 1 in Class 6A and is 6-0 on neutral sites.

Pelham (Ala.) (39-3): Top-ranked team in Alabama's Class 6A has won 22 matches in a row.

St. Paul's (Ala.) (40-6): Two-time defending state champ in Class 5A was 56-6 last season.

Volleyball tourney gets attention from around the country 10/08/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 3:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays series preview: Who are the Mariners?


    The Rays are back home again, duking it out with another club in the American League Wild Card chase — the Mariners, who have a slight advantage over Tampa Bay. Here's the information you need to know about Seattle before the action kicks off.

    Record: 61-61, third in AL West

    Starter Erasmo Ramirez will face the Rays after they traded him to the Mariners in July.
  2. Florida Gators' Malik Zaire: 'This is everything to me'


    GAINESVILLE - We're two weeks and one day away from the Florida Gators' Sept. 2 season opener against Michigan, and the quarterback position remains unresolved.

  3. 1997 USF Bulls: Jay Mize, a 'relentless, fearless' safety and entrepreneur


    USF football alumnus Jay Mize, 39, poses for a portrait at Irish 31 Pub House & Eatery located at 1611 W Swann Avenue in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, August 8, 2017. Mize, a member of the first USF football team, has evolved into an immensely successful businessman and entrepreneur and he owns the Irish 31 pubs.
  4. Revisiting the inaugural 1997 USF Bulls football roster


    The 1997 USF football team. (University of South Florida, USF Bulls)
  5. 1997 USF Bulls: Charlie Jackson navigates life's speed bumps


    USF wide receiver Charlie Jackson (1) strives for extra yardage as he is brought down from behind by the Citadel's Rob Nichols (29) in the first quarter on Sept. 14, 1997. (Times 1997)