Sports

Livingston Volleyball Sisters Medal at 20th Maccabiah Games in Israel

Allison and Gayle Edelstein take home bronze and gold medals at third-largest sporting competition globally Credits: Phil Edelstein

JERUSALEM, IL Together with their teams, Livingston’s “Setting Sisters” Allison and Gayle Edelstein both medaled at the recent Maccabiah Games, which are held every four years in Israel.

Allison, 22, led the USA Women’s Open Volleyball team to the bronze medal over Argentina. Gayle, 17, led the USA Junior Volleyball team to gold medal over host Israel.

“I couldn’t be prouder of my girls for representing our country and both medaling at these games,” said Phil Edelstein, the sisters’ father. “Travelling to the 20th Maccabiah Games in Israel was the thrill of a lifetime. We’re so thankful to all the friends and fans who supported Allison and Gayle in taking this life-changing trip. It was a resounding success for our family and for Jewish athletes from around the world.”

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According to Phil, the 20th Maccabiah Games was the largest ever, with 80 countries and 10,000 Jewish athletes participating. The games drew a crowd of 30,000 people to Teddy Kolek Stadium in Jerusalem, he said.

Setter Allison and the USA fell to Argentina, 3-0 (20-25, 23-25, and 12-25), in Match 1; defeated Chile, 3-0 (25-9, 25-15, and 25-7 ), in Match 2; defeated Brazil, 3-0 (25-19, 25-11, and 25-18), in Match 3; and finally overtook Argentina, 3-1 (26-24, 23-25, 25-18, and 25-16), in a Revenge Match, winning the bronze medal.

Setter Gayle and the USA Junior Division team played in Haifa, where they defeated Chile, 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, and 25-16), in Match 1; Cuba, 3-0 (25-4, 25-12, and 25-8), in Match 2; Israel, 3-1 (25-8, 25-18, 26-24, and 25-20), in Match 3; Argentina, 3-0 (25-15, 25-16, and 25-23), in the semifinal; and Israel, 3-1 (25-16, 25-23, 23-25, and 25-13), in the Gold Medal Match.

Allison and Gayle were both standout athletes at Livingston High School.

Elder sister Allison began her volleyball career in seventh grade and by high school became the only freshman recruited to play on the varsity team. Throughout high school, she won many individual awards and a state championship. She was also the all-time school leader in assists.

Allison continued to play club volleyball with Atlantic Valley Volleyball and traveled to Atlanta to play in the Junior Olympics. During her four years at Franklin and Marshall College, she helped the school’s team make it to the NCAA National Tournament, twice led the Centennial Conference in assists and passed the 2,000 career-assists mark.

Younger sister Gayle was an early leader in the sport as a starter on her middle school volleyball team. Like her sister, she was also asked to join the varsity team her freshman year of high school, where she was a starter from day one.

The award-winning setter won multiple county and conference championships. Like Allison, Gayle also played club volleyball for Atlantic Valley. Now a 2017 graduate from Livingston High School, she has surpassed her sister as the all-time leader in assists at LHS.

Gayle was recruited by multiple colleges but accepted admission to McDaniel College in Westminster, MD, where she will play for the volleyball team.

The Maccabiah Games, organized by the Maccabi World Union, is MWU’s signature activity in international Jewish sports. To learn more about the 2017 Maccabiah games, click HERE.

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