ORLANDO, Fla (June 28, 2017)- The 44th AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships came to a close Monday after 12 days of intense volleyball in the Central Florida area.
AAU National Championship, the largest volleyball event in the world, had a total of 2,438 teams that played 13,154 matches across 172 courts.
Before any matches were played, the Championship was kicked off with a thrilling opening ceremony featuring a speech from 9-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Carl Lewis. Lewis was accompanied by a speech from the AAU’s President and CEO Dr. Roger Goudy as well as an appearance from everyone’s favorite couple, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and a firework show.
Coaches, players and families were able to unwind and attend a private Water Park Party at Disney’s awesome Typhoon Lagoon. Guests had the whole park to themselves with a DJ and dance party.
On the court the competition was second to none. Elizabeth McKisson of champion OTVA Red Sox was eager about opportunity to play against some of the best teams in the country in the AAU National Championship, she said “I like the hard competition and how all the girls were out to win.”
With a tournament of this magnitude there is a certainty for more exposure. With 600 college coaches in attendance, there are plenty of opportunities to be noticed.
Mica Allison of the 17 Open National Champion Illini Elite, winner of the Most Outstanding Player award and Auburn University commit said about the different opportunities AAU and this event provide, “I’ve been playing AAU since I was 13 years old. It has gotten me the opportunity to play at a high level in college. “
With this many teams and matches there were multiple venues used. A majority of games were played in the Orange County Convention Center. Many of the championships and televised matches by WatchESPN.com were held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort. The AAU Boys’ Junior National Volleyball Championships were held at nearby Orlando Sports Center as well.
Michelle Erins, the head coach of the 17 Open Champion Illini Elite said about the event overall, “It’s been a great week, it’s been a great experience,” Erins continued “The tournament is set up so well and all the facilities are done really well. So all the kids have a great experience at all the different places that we play.”
This much passion and excitement in the world’s favorite family vacation destination makes for a truly unique environment.
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