Famu hosts Tallahasse Invitational Volleyball Tournament

Courtesy of Ashley Brown

Florida A&M University (FAMU) hosted Tallahassee’s Annual Invitational Volleyball Tournament, along for the second time in a row Saturday morning.

Tallahassee Invitational Volleyball Tournament, hosted by ProStyle Volleyball, comes around once every year with 84 different teams from Florida and Georgia competing head to head for the grand prize.

The weekend-long program allowed grade-school students to showcase their talents against other equally talented players. The games are divided by age, gender, division, and skillset. The team who won their game advanced to the playoffs and competed the following day.  

Gokahan Yilmaz is the director of ProStyle Volleyball and the tournament started the event five years ago to create better opportunities for players.

“We decided to utilize the campus and universities located here in Tallahassee to make it more appealing to children and future students,” Yilmaz stated. “Every team that you see here are competing for Florida rankings. The teams that you see here will compete in USA volleyball in order to go Regionals in Orlando.”

Erica Bunch, a graduate of Florida State University, from Wakulla, Fla., is now coaching one of the 12-13 age groups.

“I got involved with the program because I’m one of the top coaches in the department and there is not any task that I can’t handle,” Bunch insisted.

Bunch has a daughter that is also involved was also involved in tournament.

“My daughter Madison Bunch is currently playing for ProStyle VolleyBall Academy, Thirteen Black Elites. I prefer to step back from issues and not get involved because I still want to make sure that I am fulfilling my proper duties as a mother.”

Last year’s tournament some students took a tour of FAMU’s campus. After careful deliberation one student decided she wanted to play for the school. Later she received a volleyball scholarship from the coach and Athletic department and will be playing in this year’s upcoming season.

Liz Miller, is a parent volunteer and tournament director, who contacted Dr. A. Thomas Cavano, the director of the AL Lawson Multipurpose center.

“FAMU has been great with drawing up contracts to negotiate access to other facilities,” Miller complimented. “Unlike the Civic Center, FAMU’s location of other facilities allow everyone to be in one general area, so it made nice for everyone to be closer together.”

Four teams will match up to play five games each until 3 p.m. tomorrow. The objective is to win at least two games. If the team loses then they still have a chance to be admitted in the losers circle in order to stay in the game. If the team loses two games then they forfeit chances and will no longer advance to the playoffs.