TAMPA, Fla. – The University of South Florida Athletics Department and the Tampa Sports Commission are proud to announce the field for the Tampa Twice volleyball tournament.

Washington, Minnesota, Florida and USF will vie for the non-conference regular season tourney title in hopes that it springs their team to a return trip for the 2009 NCAA Championships in December.
USF and the Sports Commission will team up again to host volleyball’s version of the Final Four at the St. Pete Times Forum on Dec. 17 and 19.

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“We are thrilled to team up with the Tampa Bay Sports Commission and host this elite collegiate volleyball event,” said USF head coach Claire Lessinger. “This tournament gives Tampa two opportunities, in 2009, to host some of the best talent in the country. This marks the first time in school history that USF will host three top-15 programs in the same tournament.
“It is an amazing opportunity for our program and our players to compete against the best – I also hope the local community as well as the student body come out and enjoy a weekend of intense high level volleyball.”

The marquee showdown of the entire tournament will take place Friday, Sept. 11 when the Bulls square off with the Gators at 8 p.m.
Adding more intrigue to the instate showdown is the fact that assistant coach Nikki Shade and Lessinger both played their collegiate ball at UF. Additionally, outside hitter Pamela Luiz transferred to USF from Minnesota this offseason. The Bulls and Golden Gophers will meet at 8 p.m. on Saturday.

Washington finished the 2008 season ranked No. 5, Florida was ranked No. 10 and Minnesota was No. 14.
The complete 2009 USF volleyball schedule should be announced in the next 10 days.

Tampa Twice Tournament: Co-hosted by Tampa Bay Sports Commission and USF
Thursday, Sept. 10
Welcome Banquet Dinner Cruise

Friday, Sept. 11
6 p.m. – Washington vs. Minnesota
8 p.m. – USF vs. Florida

Saturday, Sept. 12
9 a.m.- 11 a.m. -Kids clinic in corral with players from each team.
3 p.m. – High School Classic – Berkeley Prep vs. Venice
6 p.m. – Florida vs. Washington
8 p.m. – USF vs. Minnesota