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Jun 17 Starlings to Hold Largest National Championship Ever

June 17, 2009, 5:03 p.m. (ET)

Courtesy of the Starlings

June 17, 2009 - With a record-shattering 148 Starlings teams from around the nation entered, the Starlings showcase event is poised to take off in San Diego.

The fun begins with the Opening Ceremony at Sweetwater High School (7-8:30 p.m.) on June 17. With music, dancing and the club banner parade, it's expected that more than 1,000 Starlings girls and friends will attend the lively gathering where Sister Teams will meet up and exchange gifts and new friendships. For the first time, the 2009 Literary/Art contest winners will also be announced that evening.

As breast cancer awarenss/prevention has been this year's theme for the national program, breast cancer survivor and Olympic gold medalist Deena Schmidt will share some of her experiences with the crowd.

The following morning, June 18, Starlings teams in four age divisions (12s, 14s, 16s, 18s) will begin the four-day competition on the 12 courts of Alliant University and six-court facility at Balboa Park Activity Center.  On Saturday, play will also take place at San Diego City College (Harry West Gym) and Sweetwater High School.

On Saturday, the second annual High Performance Tryout will be conducted by USA Volleyball's Heath Hoke. The tryout will take place between 4-8 p.m., at Alliant University. We will also repeat the Coaches Clinic that evening (5:30 - 8 p.m.) under the direction of Starlings National Coaching Director, Tod Mattox.

Finals of the gold medal divisions will be held at Alliant University on Sunday, June 21. Final matches will take place at the following times: 12s (1:00 pm), 14s (2:30 p.m.), 16s (4:00 p.m.) and 18s (5:30 p.m.). Medals for Gold Division first and second place teams will be awarded following the individual matches.

For more information on the Starlings, go to www.starlings.org

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