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Tampa Bay Invitational Attracts Top Teams

Just a week after the Berkeley Prep hosted its annual Premier tournament, one of the top volleyball tournaments in the Southeast, Tampa Prep will host yet another high-profile tournament. The annual Tampa Bay Invitational will be held Friday and Saturday at the University of Tampa and Tampa Prep. Last year, Plant won the 16-team invitational after defeating Venice, the 2005 Class 5A state champ, in three games. Plant is scheduled to participate again this year and will be joined by some of Hillsborough County's best teams in Berkeley Prep, Academy of the Holy Names and host Tampa Prep. Venice, ranked No. 2 behind Plant in the latest Class 5A state poll, also will participate, as will other state ranked teams such as top-ranked Class 6A powerhouse Orlando Timber Creek, Weston Cypress Bay (6A), Fort Myers (5A), Fort Myers Bishop Verot (3A), Gainesville P.K. Yonge (3A) and Orangewood Christian (2A). Berkeley Prep coach Randy Dagostino, who entered the season 16 wins shy of 700, may break the milestone during the tournament. As of Saturday, Dagostino has 693 career wins.
The invitational will be played on two courts at the University of Tampa's Martinez Complex and two courts at Tampa Prep. For more information on the tournament, visit www.tampaprep.org. HOW THEY RANK: As of the latest state poll, Durant is ranked No. 9 in Class 6A, while Sickles received honorable mention; Plant remained on top in 5A; Berkeley Prep stayed at No. 2 in 3A, while Academy of the Holy names slipped to No. 9; Bayshore Christian entered the 1A poll at No 8. Plant received two national rankings: No. 52 in the MaxPreps.com National Volleyball rankings, and No. 20 in the Century Club National Top 100 rankings. Plant also was ranked the No. 1 team in Florida by MaxPreps.com. HAUSMANN TO FGCU: Gaither senior libero Elissa Hausmann has committed to Florida Gulf Coast University, a Division I school in Fort Myers. Hausmann, one of the top liberos in the state, visited FGCU on Sept. 8. Hausmann currently is second in Hillsborough County in digs with an average of 6.6 per game, making her the third in the state in that category according to MaxPreps.com. The FGCU women's volleyball team is currently on top in The Atlantic Sun Conference standings with a record of 12-1. CHINCHAR LEAVING AHN: Academy of the Holy Names volleyball coach Doug Chinchar announced Thursday he will resign at the end of the season. Holy Names athletic director Pete Young stated in an e-mail that time commitment became an issue. Chinchar, who played college volleyball at Ohio State, is in his eighth season at Holy Names.

Reporter Nick Williams can be reached at (813) 865-4848 or nwilliams@tampatrib.com.

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