Record Numbers Compete at Starlings Nationals

June 24, 2009, 6:40 p.m. (ET)

Maura Gladys
Intern, Media Relations and Publications
Phone: 719-228-6800

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 24, 2009 ) – A record-breaking 148 teams competed at the 2009 Starlings National Championships, held June 17-21 in San Diego. Teams from around the nation competed in four age divisions: 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s.

In the 18s Division, Omaha 18s took home the gold medal, defeating San Gabriel 18 Red who grabbed silver. City of LA Trent took home the bronze.

South Bay was the champion of the 16s division. They defeated Phoenix 16 Kati who settled for silver. San Gabriel 16 Red rounded out the third spot.

Taking home the gold medal in the 14s Division was Omaha 14s. Ridgecrest 14 and Phoenix Jason finished second and third, respectively. Shonto was the 12s Division Champion. They defeated Phoenix Tanya, who took home the silver medal. Green Valley Ranch captured the bronze.

The event also featured an opening ceremony, a USA Volleyball High Performance tryout and a coaches’ clinic. To highlight the Starlings’ 2009 national theme of breast cancer awareness and prevention, Olympic gold medalist swimmer and breast cancer survivor Deena Schmidt was on hand to share her experiences.

Starlings founder Byron Shewman raved about the success of the event.

“With a record 148 teams, this year’s event was not only the largest, but we saw a noticeably higher level of play,” Shewman said. “The opening ceremony was tremendous. About 1,500 girls listened to the riveting story of Deena Schmidt.”

The Starlings is an organization that allows girls from diverse, lower socioeconomic environments to participate and compete in volleyball at a high level. There are currently 52 clubs across the country, serving more than 3,000 girls.

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