Area boys volleyball teams in Spike for Tykes

Spike for Tykes will be a win-win-win.

The first-time event, to be held at Capital University in Columbus on Saturday, will bring together 16 boys high school volleyball teams from throughout the state for a full day of competition on the court for a cause. Centerville, Northmont and Alter will represent the West Region in the event that is designed to raise funds for and awareness of the services that Nationwide Children’s Hospital provides.

“It’s about reaching out and helping others,” said Alter coach Craig Erford.

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Spike for Tykes is also about good volleyball. Division I teams Centerville, Elder and St. Ignatius are all currently ranked in the top five in the state. Walsh Jesuit and Alter are ranked first and second, respectively, in D-II.

“It will be nice to play some teams we don’t typically see,” Centerville coach Monte Moser said. “And it’s at Capital University, where our state tournament is held, so it will be nice to get a feel for playing there.”

Good volleyball for a good cause at the state tournament venue – there is plenty to play for at the inaugural Spike for Tykes.

“It’s really cool to be a part of such a great event,” Alter senior libero Cole McNeil said. “It’s great to be able to help make a difference.”

Each of the four state regions was paired with a “tyke,” a child who has overcome adversity with the help of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Each child represents a different department within the hospital and money raised within each region will be donated to that child’s hospital department. The West Region is representing the cardiology department.

The tournament begins with three pool-play matches in the morning and bracket play in the afternoon. The top eight teams after pool play advance to the gold bracket, the rest will play in the silver bracket.

While the event benefits the Columbus pediatric facility, the Knights are also making a visit to Dayton Children’s Hospital today with volleyball goodie bags in hand for the young patients.

“I want our team to see what it’s like for these children and understand who we are helping,” said Erford.

All of the local teams have raised funds – including a Jam the Gym event at Centerville against visiting Northmont. Alter also held a fund-raising event at Buffalo Wild Wings.

“It’s good to be a part of this event and, hopefully, we can grow more support for future years,” said Moser.

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