Two years ago Fatima Handy created the Sting Volleyball Club, giving local girls, age 12 and under, the opportunity to play in the most competitive girls volleyball league in Northern California, the Power League division of the NCVA.
With 10 of the team’s top volleyball players from Turlock and Hilmar, String finished this year’s regular season with a record of 41-12, earning a second place finish in the NCVA and garnering the team national attention in the form of a bid for the 33rd Annual USA Volleyball Girls Junior National Championships in Columbus, Ohio.
“When only 48 teams from across the nation earn an honor like this, the main emotion you feel as a coach is pride,” Handy said. “Pride for what your girls accomplished and for how they conducted themselves during the season, but mostly pride in the fact that the girls are getting a chance to reap the benefits of their hard work.”
After local fundraisers and weeks of hard work in the gym, the ladies of String found themselves at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on Friday, ready for the first round of championship competition in the 48-team bracket. Sting dropped their first two matches in straight sets to the Alamo and Tejas, but bounced back in their third match against the Car Islanders, winning 26-24, 26-24.
Mariah Ahid, Whitney Barnes, Erin Benning, Audrey Dykzeul, Kennedy Folly, Julia Handy, Kodee Lamb, Payton Moak, Yisel Perez, and Jadyn Tubbs begin their second day of national competition today against Florida’s OVA Asics. If Sting can continue to win they may get the chance to compete in the final day of competition on Monday.