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Orlando to Host World’s Largest Volleyball Event

15 Jun, 2015


AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships Will Feature Nation’s Top Talent

The best girls’ volleyball teams from across the country are coming to Orlando from June 15th through June 26th for the 42nd Annual AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships. The 2012 AAU event set the current Guinness Book of World Records mark for largest volleyball event in the world.

ESPN Wide World of Sports and the Orange County Convention Center host eleven (11) days of volleyball in what has quickly become the crown jewel of the volleyball season.  Due to the huge growth of the tournament, some additional off-site games will be played at nearby Orlando Sports Center.

The event has an estimated economic impact of $52 million.

Some of the best players and clubs in the nation will be represented.  Top teams include Mizuno Northern Lights (Minneapolis, MN), KIVA (Louisville, KY), A5 (Atlanta, GA), Sports Performance (Chicago, IL) and Munciana (Indianapolis, IN).

Top players include Gatorade Player of the Year recipients and many are nationally ranked by PrepVolleyball.com’s Top 100 high school seniors and will be going to some of the top volleyball colleges in the fall.  Indiana’s Carly Skjodt (#26, Univ of Michigan) with Munciana Samurai 18 Open, Georgia’s Paige McKnight (#97, Georgetown Univ) with A5 18 Bob and Florida’s Courtney Furlong (Univ of South Carolina), with local favorite Orlando Volleyball Academy (OVA). 

Other Top 100 Seniors include Tionna Williams (#6, Univ of Wisconsin) with Municiana Samurai 18 Open, Kenzie Maloney (#24, Univ of Nebraska) with Kiva 18 Red, Alyssa Munlyn (#36, Univ of Missouri) with A5 18 Bob and Jordan Thompson (#44, Univ of Cincinnati) with Mizuno Northern Lights 18-1.

Top 50 Juniors include Sarah Allick (Lincoln, NE) with Nebraska Juniors committed to Univ of Nebraska and Brittany McLean (Rosemount, MN) with Mizuno Northern Lights 17-1 committed to Univ of Minnesota.

“These elite players epitomize what AAU volleyball is all about,” said Dr. Goudy, AAU President/CEO. “They uphold the tradition of excellence both on and off the court and are sure to make their mark on the college ranks.”

Approximately 27,000 players and 5,600 coaches will compete on 183 courts. Approximately 100,000 spectators and over 400 college coaches from across the U.S. will be in attendance to watch the over 12,000 matches being played over the course of the tournament.  Concession stands, merchandise and vendor booths add to the atmosphere making it a must see event for any die-hard volleyball fan.

“The Orange County Convention Center is delighted to welcome back the AAU Girls Junior National Volleyball Championships,” stated Kathie Canning, OCCC Executive Director.  “Our facility has long been known for its success in hosting sporting events and AAU Girls Volleyball fits on the list very well.  The growth of this event and enthusiasm it brings to our city is very valuable.  We look forward to many more years of partnership.”

The economic impact to the area is expected to be over $52 million with participants and their families visiting local hotels, shops, restaurants and other Orlando area businesses.

In total, 2,250 teams ranging from ages 10u through 18u will compete in the Open, Club, Classic, Premier or International Divisions.

The International Division features teams from Brazil, China, Dominican Republic, Germany, Israel and Slovenia as well as Puerto Rico.  Other international teams featured in regular competition include Haiti, Colombia, Canada, Virgin Islands and Peru.

“The AAU strives to provide the very best event experience for athletes, coaches and spectators,” said Dr. Goudy, AAU President/CEO. “The AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships is the premier volleyball event in the nation and will continue to grow in the years to come.”

Opening Ceremonies will be held in Champions Stadium at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Monday, June 15th. Doors open at 5pm with the parade of athletes starting at 7pm.

For more info including schedules, event info and media looking to attend or being updated throughout the event, email rachel@aausports.org, call 407-506-7638 or visit aauvolleyball.org  

About AAU: Founded in 1888, the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is one of the largest, non-profit, volunteer, event organizations in the United States. The “Sports for All, Forever” philosophy is shared by over 670,000 participants of which close to 115,000 play volleyball. The AAU annually licenses more than 34 sports programs, 250 national championships, and over 30,000 age division events. AAU alumni include LeBron James, Amar’e Stoudemire, Diana Taurasi, Candace Parker, Megan Hodge, Cynthia Barboza, and Justin Verlander.  A multi-sport organization, the AAU is dedicated exclusively to the development of amateur sports www.aausports.org.

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