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12-Thousand Volleyball Players Swarm Salt Lake

12-Thousand Volleyball Players Swarm Salt Lake



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Shelley Osterloh ReportingEight-hundred teams, 12-thousand players, all gathered here in Salt Lake. The game is Volleyball, the players have come from across the country for the Junior Olympic Championship in the Salt Palace.

12-Thousand Volleyball Players Swarm Salt Lake

Competition began early this morning. There are rows and rows of nets and a lot of excited girls from all over the country, some of them from right here in Salt Lake City. It's the invasion of the knee-highs. Everywhere you turn you see them.

Jeff Robbins, Utah Sports Commission: "These are really the elite volleyball players from across the nation, in terms of girls age 12-18."

Ali White, Junior Olympic Competitor: "I'm nervous! This is my first time coming to Jo's even though I've played a couple of years."

Ali White is a member of the Salt Lake High Country Volleyball Club. Watching her team play, you wouldn't guess these girls are only 11 and 12-years-old. They may be young in age, but they are rich in experience. Some of them have played together since they were six years old.

Ali White: "If we play with one person a long time and then they are on our team in high school, we know that we've played with them so we know what they play like."

12-Thousand Volleyball Players Swarm Salt Lake

That feeling of comraderie is sometimes harder to apply to friends on the other side of the net.

Ali White: "It's weird 'cuz you really want to be friends with them, but then you're like, 'oh, I want to beat them and I want to win this game.'"

Taryn Horner, Coach: "Doing this every year until they are the 17's, 18's when they are getting recruited makes the experience a whole lot better for them down the road."

Coach Taryn Horner says the girls quickly learn how to be competitive.

Taryn Horner: "We were by far the shortest team there. To play 12-year olds that are six feet tall, they are like, whoah."

Beyond the game Taryn feels the greatest lesson learned is responsibility.

Taryn Horner: "To teach them to bring their uniforms to be on time; leadership, communication, working with other people,lit's something they can do and talk about the rest of their lives."

The competition continues all week long. You can come and watch, but there is a fee -- ten dollars a day.

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