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Trio of volleyball tournaments this weekend

Posted Sep 19, 2013 by Nick Williams

Updated Sep 19, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Tampa Bay volleyball fans can get a triple dose of volleyball with tournaments happening across Hillsborough County this weekend.

Here’s a glimpse of what to expect

Berkeley Premier
WHEN/WHERE: Friday and Saturday (championship at 6:30 p.m.); Berkeley Prep—Straz Family Field House, Dimmitt Gymnasium and the Johnson Field House for the tournament on school campus.
WHO: Pool A (Louisville Mercy, Orlando First Academy ); Pool B (Boca Raton, Venice, Plant); Pool C (Berkeley Prep, Miami Chaminade-Madonna, Martin County); Pool D (Woodward Academy (Georgia), Clearwater Central Catholic, Ft. Lauderdale Pinecrest); Pool E (Orlando Lake Highland Prep, Tampa Prep, Miami Westminster); Pool F (Orlando Boone, Walton (Georgia), Tallahassee Leon); Pool G (Orlando Bishop Moore, Ft. Myers Evangelical Christian, Miami Ransom Everglades); Pool H (Fort Myers, Academy of the Holy Names, Ocala Vanguard).
COST: $6 per day or $10 for a two-day pass for anyone over the age of 12.
ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT: It’s called the Premier for a reason. One of the top volleyball tournaments in the country, this year’s 24-team field includes the consensus No.1 ranked team in the nation, Louisville’s Mercy Academy, which has participated since the tournament began, last year’s national champion Orlando Bishop Moore, who defeated Berkeley in the Class 4A state championship last year, and 10-time Georgia state champion Woodward Academy, and of course, host Berkeley Prep, which started the season ranked 29th in the nation. First Academy (3A), Venice (7A), Ocala Vanguard (6A) and Boca Raton (8A) were state champions last year, while Clearwater Central Catholic, Fort Myers and Berkeley Prep all reached the state final four. The tournament will be played in a best of three format. After pool play ends, the first place teams will advance to an eight-team Gold Bracket, and second place teams in each pool will advance to an eight-team Silver Bracket. The third place teams will advance to an eight-team Bronze Bracket. Play for all three brackets will consist of four quarter-final matches, and then two semi-final matches for the winners.

Lady Hawk High School Volleyball Invitational, hosted by Hillsborough Community College
WHEN/WHERE: Friday and Saturday (championships 10 a.m.); Hillsborough Community College Dale Mabry Campus
WHO: Pool A (Durant, Plant City, Lakeland); Pool B (Bloomingdale, Sickles, Manatee) Pool C (Lakeland George Jenkins, East Bay, Steinbrenner)
ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT: This tournament has a reputation of turning middle of the pack teams into to state playoff competitors. Best of five set format. Top team from each pool advances to three-team gold bracket. Team who wins two matches in gold bracket wins championship. Durant remains undefeated this season while Steinbrenner, which reached the region final in 2012, has one loss. George Jenkins reached the Class 7A state semifinals last season.

Wharton High School Harvest Volleyball Tournament
WHEN/WHERE: Friday and Saturday (championship 5 p.m.), at Wharton High School
WHO: Pool A (Wharton, Riverview, Freedom, King). Pool B (Clearwater, Wiregrass Ranch, Strawberry Crest, Brandon)
ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT: Wharton is the two-time defending champion. Pool play and bracket play will be a best of three set formant. The last two years, the tournament has coincided with a food drive. Participating schools have been able to stock the pantries of two local food banks for the past two years.

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