In its second year, the Spike for Tykes boys volleyball tournament has grown in both size and facility.
The 24-team event will take place Friday, May 5, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The field, half of which is comprised of area high school teams and includes six state qualifiers from a year ago, has increased by eight teams.
"We have some of the heavy hitters in the state. It should be an awesome weekend," said event organizer Matt Snyder, the coach at Stow-Munroe Falls in northeast Ohio. "A lot of teams got in touch with us after last year and wanted to be a part of this. It will be competitive. We want this to be open to every team that wants to be here."
The event was held at Capital University last year.
Spike for Tykes also coincides with the NCAA Division I men's volleyball tournament at Ohio State. The semifinals will be held Thursday, May 4, and the championship match is Saturday, May 6.
Proceeds from Spike for Tykes benefit Nationwide Children's Hospital. There is no cost for admission, but donations are suggested.
According to Snyder, approximately $5,000 was raised last year.
Six teams are paired with a Children's Hospital patient who has overcome an illness and represents a department within the hospital.
Representing central Ohio in the event are DeSales, Dublin Coffman, Gahanna, Hilliard Davidson, Olentangy, Olentangy Liberty, Pickerington North, Reynoldsburg, Westerville Central, Westerville North, Westerville South and Worthington Kilbourne.
The rest of the field consists of Akron Hoban, Centerville, Chillicothe, Cincinnati McNicholas, Cincinnati St. Xavier, Clayton Northmont, Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, Kettering Alter, Massillon Jackson, Middletown, Middletown Fenwick and Stow-Munroe Falls.
Alter defeated Walsh Jesuit in last year's Division II state final to capture its third consecutive championship. Also advancing to state last season were DeSales in Division II and Centerville, Jackson and Pickerington North in Division I.
North made state for the first time, and Centerville lost to eventual champion Cincinnati Elder in a semifinal.
The 24 teams will be divided into eight pools of three, with each team playing one set against the other two teams in its pool.
The first-place team in each pool advances to the Gold Tournament bracket. The second-place teams advance to the Silver Tournament bracket, and third-place teams will meet in the Bronze Tournament.
Matches begin at 2 p.m.
For more information, visit spikefortykes.org.