Volleyball team overcomes obstacles

Senior Amanda Walton spikes the ball. Courtesy Stan Linder
Senior Amanda Walton spikes the ball. Courtesy Stan Linder

Spike, serve, set and score- this is the language of UM’s volleyball club.

From travelling and competing in national tournaments to practicing in the Wellness Center, the club members are extremely committed to their sport.

The UM volleyball club was established in the early 1980s. Since then, it has grown significantly.

There are currently 40 members, which fills two men’s and women’s teams.

“The men’s team for the first time won the Silver Division in D1AA and last year was the first time ever the club had made it into the Gold Division,” said senior Stan Linder, the volleyball club president. “The women’s team made it to the gold division both my freshmen and sophomore year in their division. Two of our players even were named All-Tournament Team Honorable Mentions at Nationals in the past.”

Even though the club has had great success in such tournaments, there were several obstacles the team had to overcome throughout the past season.

“This year was probably one of the most difficult years for our club because we had minimal amount of court space and funding,” sophomore outside hitter Rob Moore said. “Since the Wellness Center was under construction, we only practiced once a week. Also, SAFAC wasn’t able to fund us for Nationals or any other tournament this semester, so we had to raise money on our own.”

Moore attributes much of the club’s achievement to somebody he looks up to on and off the court, coach Dan Marinberg.

“He has been coaching for almost 10 years now and coaches both the men’s and women’s team, which is a huge time commitment,” Moore said. “He’s also very involved with community service and giving back. He doesn’t get paid to coach us and I speak for the team when I say that Dan is the reason why UM club volleyball has become so successful.”

Combining the hard work of the teammates with the help from their admirable coach, the club president for next year, freshman Brett Hollenbach, has high hopes for their next season.

“We finished the year really strong,” he said. “I am looking forward to picking up where we left off and showing everyone what we are capable of.”

Rachel Hyman can be contacted at rhyman@themiamihurricane.com.