Club Volleyball offers sportsmanship, fun

Hayley Garick hits the ball over the net and Chelsea O'Donnell goes in for the block. Tanya Thompson//The Miami Hurricane
Hayley Garick hits the ball over the net and Chelsea O'Donnell goes in for the block. Tanya Thompson//The Miami Hurricane

During Monday night’s practice at the Wellness Center coach Dan Marinberg smiles as he scores a kill point on the court with his No. 8 nationally ranked women’s team.  A former player at Georgetown and Boston University, his love of volleyball brought him to UM to practice law and teach his favorite sport.  After the women wrap up, the men’s squad begins to warm up for a scrimmage with cross-town rival FIU.

Club Volleyball consists of men’s and women’s teams who practice three times a week and compete in tournaments in the Florida and across the rest of the country.  In years past the teams that UM have sent to the Club Volleyball National Championships have been fairly successful, the women have finished as high as fifth and the men doing as well as a bronze medal.  According to Coach Marinberg, today there is more demand than supply for a spot in the club.

“When I first came here in 2002 there were only seven women in the club and it was two years from then before we won a single game. In my eyes, they’re No. 1,” he said.

Club Volleyball provides a place for UM students who share the same passion for the game as their coach and for others it is a great way to meet friends and stay in shape.

“Originally I didn’t want to play volleyball in college, but being on the team has been one of the best decisions I’ve made since coming to UM,” junior Eileen Welch said of her choice to join the club.

Fellow Junior Elizabeth Weintraub feels the same way about the club team.

“It’s almost like being in a co-ed fraternity. We are a tight-knit group that look out for each other on and off court and definitely love to play and party together.”

Similar to her coach, club president and UM senior Colleen Dourney couldn’t imagine a life without volleyball.

“I heard from friends who played varsity that it wasn’t as much fun as they had hoped so I decided to play club instead.  We have so much fun and travel all over the country playing the game we love; it is amazing.”

The club has plans to participate in a tournament in Las Vegas later this year.

“It will be fun; we’ll be on our best behavior,” Marinberg said. “We usually play teams from the south and I am interested in learning what kind of talent they have to offer out on the west coast.”

Marinberg believes the team has been so successful because of team camaraderie.

“We are social and competitive. We aren’t just playing volleyball but we also have team dinners and go out together. We are held together by a love of the sport.”

In his opinion, “Club Volleyball is the perfect example of what college is all about.”

Calvin Cestari may be contacted at