San Diego is a hotbed for youth volleyball and that is also apparent locally, where La Jolla Volleyball club (LJV) is set to kick off its 10th season of training young athletes. After completing a successful season traveling the country and representing the West Coast at several nationwide volleyball tournaments, a select group of female athletes ages 10-18 spent the past season traveling from San Diego to Las Vegas, Anaheim, Reno and Phoenix.
Headed by club director, founder and former UC Santa Barbara Division I collegiate player Barbara Birnbaum, LJV builds youth volleyball teams at all levels, from 10U to 18U, and features a staff of coaches who are current and former professional players, as well as high school and collegiate coaches.
Birnbaum started LJV with sold-out beach camps in summer 2011, then launched the indoor program of LJV in spring 2012 with eight teams in the inaugural season. LJV has since grown in both size and strength, with LJV teams regularly appearing in the top Gold and Silver divisions of the Southern California Volleyball Association rankings and notching upsets of higher-ranked teams from larger clubs.
Many LJV athletes have transitioned to collegiate careers at Division I, II, III, NAIA and community colleges.
Birnbaum is a married mother of three, and said she understands the complexities of youth sports, having recently seen her two daughters off to collegiate careers in volleyball.
“Kids and families can easily get lost in larger clubs, becoming just another number with no real voice,” Birnbaum said. “I love taking the time to get to know our families, listening to their dreams and ambitions so that we can help them achieve their ultimate goals.”
LJV features several camps and clinics all year-round, but tryouts for LJV’s 15U-to-18U teams are July 25-27, 2019 at The Salvation Army gym, 4170 Balboa Ave., in the Clairemont area of San Diego. Learn more at lajollavolleyball.com