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10 Jun 2015

Orlando to Host World’s Largest Volleyball Event

Orlando to Host World’s Largest Volleyball Event

Lake Buena Vista, FL June 10, 2015 – 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.

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 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.

“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.”

Central Florida is well represented at this year’s event.  Florida Gatorade Player of the Year, Courtney Furlong, will compete with hometown favorite and perennial championship contender Orlando Volleyball Academy (OVA).  She is a senior and will be attending University of South Carolina in the fall. 

Other local players competing include 2014 MVPs such as OVA’s Tamzen Wilson (12u Classic Division) and Morgan Romano (13u Club Division) plus Tampa Bay Volleyball Academy’s Jenna Hampton (14u Open Division) and Gainesville Juniors’ Jac’Cara Walker (16u Club Division). 

“The Central Florida area continues to produce top quality players that epitomize what AAU volleyball is all about,” said Dr. Goudy, AAU President/CEO. “These players uphold the tradition of excellence both on and off the court and are role models for the next generation.”

Central Florida area teams will compete against the nation’s best clubs. Top teams include Mizuno Northern Lights (Minneapolis, MN), KIVA (Louisville, KY), A5 (Atlanta, GA), Sports Performance (Chicago, IL) and Munciana (Indianapolis, IN).

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.”

An interesting side note: AAU Volleyball, in conjunction with Gerflor, a global leader in the design of multipurpose sports flooring, will spotlight one of the teraflex volleyball courts used at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Gerflor supplied 10 courts for competition and practice. All were sold after the 2012 Games EXCEPT the one to be used at the
2015 AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships, which Gerflor previously kept as a promotional court.

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.

General Questions regarding the event, schedule, directions, tickets and more?
Call 407-934-7200 and ask to speak to a Volleyball Sport Manager or
visit www.aauvolleyball.org  

Media Members: For more info including schedules, event info and media looking to attend the event, email rachel@aausports.org, call 407-506-7638.

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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