Times Staff Report
October 4, 2012
LEXINGTON – The AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) has announced that volleyball, with 255 schools and 6,147 participants, is the top high school team sport for girls in the state of Kentucky, as reported by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
After slow growth over the previous several years, volleyball in the Bluegrass State took a big leap forward from the 2010-2011 to the 2011-2012 season, adding 19 programs (+ 8.05%) and 689 participants (+ 12.75%). Over the course of the last seven years, there has been a 14% increase in participants after a reported 5,392 girls played volleyball in the 2005-2006 season.
“In 2011, Kentucky was one of the most visible states in the Division 1 NCAA Tournament with Morehead State, Western Kentucky, Louisville, and Kentucky advancing to post season play,” said AVCA President and University of Louisville Head Coach Anne Kordes. “Not only does each of those four schools boast two or more players from Kentucky, but there are several more players from the state on scholarship at various schools around the country. As the 2012 season opens up, Kentucky schools continue their national prominence as Western Kentucky, Kentucky, and Louisville have all been voted in the AVCA Top-25 Coaches Poll. That doesn’t even include Northern Kentucky, in their first year of Division I volleyball, putting together an impressive season winning 16 of their first 18 matches. I couldn’t be more excited for the coaches and players in the state, as Kentucky will continue to be a fertile recruiting ground as participation numbers continue! to rise.”
Kentucky is one of 22 states that share the same distinction, with soccer (16) basketball (8) and softball (5) rounding out the remainder of the country. In the United States (including D.C.) there are currently 418,903 participants, which is up from 402,768 in the 2007-2008 season. Of the 22 states that have volleyball as the most played team sport for girls, Michigan has the highest number with 20,408 reported players.