June 1/ Thu
Release - Amalie Arena and Yuengling Center to host Road 2 Tampa Bay Volleyball Invitational
June 1, 2023
TAMPA, FL – Tickets are now on sale for the Road 2 Tampa Bay Volleyball Invitational. Four elite teams will compete at AMALIE Arena on Friday, Aug. 25 and Yuengling Center on Saturday, Aug. 26 to help launch the 2023 NCAA Women’s Volleyball season as Tampa Bay prepares to host the 2023 National Championship in December (second hosting opportunity since 2009). The two-day event, which is being hosted by the Tampa Bay Sports Commission (TBSC), AMALIE Arena and the University of South Florida (USF), will feature some of the nation’s most prestigious programs including the University of Florida, Georgia Tech, Penn State University and host institution USF.
AMALIE Arena will host the first night of action on Friday, Aug. 25 and will feature USF tangling with Georgia Tech, before giving way to a nationally ranked showdown between Florida and Penn State. Yuengling Center will take centerstage on Saturday, Aug. 26 as Georgia Tech and Penn State do battle before seeing an interstate matchup between USF and Florida to close out the weekend. Match times are currently scheduled for 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. each night but are subject to change.
Florida, under Coach Mary Wise (920-126 in 32 UF seasons), has been well-established as one of the nation’s most accomplished programs for three decades. Wise, a 13-time SEC Coach of the Year and three-time AVCA National Coach of the Year, has taken the Gators to eight NCAA Final Four appearances and 24 SEC regular-season titles. The Gators (25-6) reached the NCAA region semifinals in 2022.
The Nittany Lions are the nation’s only program to play in each NCAA Volleyball Tournament (42 straight). Coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley, a former Penn State player who just finished her first season (26-8, NCAA region semifinalist) heading the program, oversees an unmatched tradition that includes seven national titles, 17 Big Ten Conference championships, a 108-35 record in NCAA Tournament play and four National Players of the Year.
The Yellow Jackets are led by Coach Michelle Collier, a USF Athletics Hall of Famer who helped the Bulls to a 120-48 record from 1998-2002, three NCAA Tournament appearances and a designation as Conference USA Player of the Decade. Collier, a USF assistant in 2008-09, began her head coaching career at Jacksonville, then shifted in 2014 to Georgia Tech. She led the Yellow Jackets to an NCAA Tournament Elite Eight appearance and a 26-6 mark in 2021. The Yellow Jackets were 21-8 (13-5 ACC) in 2022 when they reached the NCAA Tournament’s second round.
The Bulls are led by Coach Jolene Shepardson, a former player at USF and the University of Tampa who engineered dramatic turnarounds during her head-coaching career at San Jose State and Cal State Bakersfield. Shepardson, a former Gatorade Florida Player of the Year at Tampa Prep, is seeking to rebuild USF’s program into an American Athletic Conference contender.
“It’s going to be an epic weekend of elite-level competition featuring some of the nation’s top women’s volleyball programs. We can’t wait to roll out the red-carpet welcome for the participating student-athletes, coaches and fans while celebrating a NCAA volleyball season that will start and finish in Tampa Bay,’’ said Tampa Bay Sports Commission Vice President of Events Claire Lessinger, who played for Florida Coach Mary Wise at Florida and coached Collier and Shepardson while serving as USF’s volleyball coach before joining the TBSC in 2012. “Our community is excited and ready to elevate the student-athlete experience and grow the game in Tampa Bay.”
Additional event programming surrounding the weekend will be announced later.
Event information, including tickets, match schedules, times and locations can be found on Road2TampaBayVB.com. Regular event updates can be found at the TBSC’s (@sportstampabay), AMALIE Arena’s (@amaliearena) and Yuengling Center’s (@yuenglingcenter) social platforms.
Tampa Bay Sports Commission Media Contact:
TICKETS: Tickets for this event are on sale now at Ticketmaster.com. Ticket prices start at $15.00. Prices do not include facility fee or service charges. Advanced parking passes are available at ParkWhiz.com.