TYLER - In the early part of the high school volleyball season, there are tournaments and invitationals all over the region. But none will be as big as one of the private school tournaments this year.

TAPPS is bringing the 2017 Spike Down Classic to East Texas on August 10-12. The tournament will involve 40 teams from all over the state and they'll be playing at 4 sites over 3 days.

This tournament only had 16 teams last year. As part of their expansion, they were looking for a market suited to host a tournament this size. And that's a big reason why they came to East Texas.

TAPPS Executive Director Bryan Bunselmeyer says, "Ten years ago, we came to Tyler for our Final Four in basketball. The red carpet was rolled out for us every school that came here had a great time we've been trying to get back for the 10 years I've been in TAPPS, so we're just excited to be here. We're actually excited to be back in a place like Tyler where we can be the thing going on just not another one of the set of things going on."

The TAPPS leadership team was in East Texas on Thursday to check out some of the facilities. And they say they're looking forward to seeing the games, especially since the volleyball has improved to a very high level in recent years.

TAPPS Associate Director Steve Prud'homme says, "These girls can play and they get after it...I think back to 10 years ago, it's not the same game and I saw that experience at the next level. These girls aren't fooling around they just get better and better and better."