The University of Miami Volleyball Club is still a growing program. The club was established in the early 1980's. It only had enough active members to fill each position on the court. The club team toured Belgium, the Netherlands, and France for two weeks in May of 1984. After these international competitions, the club did not compete in many tournaments until the late 1990's. During the 1998-1999 season, President Alex Gonzalez helped the club grow from 12 active members to 50 in just one season. Also during that season, the club participated in the UM ALS Foundation South Beach Fundraiser at Penrod's in January, 1999, along with celebrity guests Dan Marino, Magic Johnson, and Jimmy Johnson.
Since that time, the club has grown more competitive with each year. Each semester, the club competes in numerous tournaments within the state of Florida. Over the past several years, the club has also attended numerous tournaments around the country including the Hoosier-Illini Classic and the Las Vegas Tournament. We also host at least one tournament a semester. Each year, we consistently have approximately 30 active members. In addition to these members, there is a head coach and three assistant coaches.
Members, past and present, originate from countries all over the world. Such countries include Angola, Nepal, the Czech Republic, Puerto Rico, Canada, Brazil, Virgin Islands and more. Within the states, members' hometowns are scattered throughout states spreading from coast to coast.
The club includes a men's team and a women's team. In the club's early years, there was only one team for each. However, the club's popularity has grown over the past several years. Currently, we have enough club members to create two competitive men's squads as well as two competitive women's squads. Our goal each year is to send two men's and two women's teams to Nationals. That would mark another landmark for the club and represent our rising power in the volleyball world.
Despite the numerous squads, all active members operate as a single club. We all practice within the same time ranges in the same gym. We are all responsible for fundraising, tournament hosting, meetings, and social events for the team.
Practices are held three times a week. These practices take place at night on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Sundays. All active members are required to attend all practices unless a valid reason is given to the team prior to practice time.
Individuals' attendance, attitude, and play during practice determines the amount of playing time each individual receives on tournament day.
In addition to these practices, the club also offers an open gym every Thursday at 9pm in the Herbert Wellness Center. All interested individuals are welcome to play. Club members will be present to coach individuals that request it. Open gym is a time for interested individuals to practice their skills and play mini games with individuals of all ability levels.
Each semester, the men's and women's teams travel throughout the state to various tournament sites. Beginning in 2006, the club started hosting tournaments at the University of Miami. These tournaments raise money for the club, promote the sport to spectators, and offer local teams the opportunity to enter competitive tournaments. Our goal is to host at least one tournament in Miami each semester.
The club has had at least one team present at the National Championships each year since its establishment. The primary goal of this club is to continue that streak.
Although we promote interest in the sport to everyone, we do not have the necessary funding, space, or time to allow everyone a spot on the various squads. Active members must first tryout for a spot in the club. If their skills and attitude are congruent with the goals of the club, then selected individuals must pay a minimal amount for club dues. This amount is determined by the executive board and may vary.
Active members are also required to attend every practice, fundraise, assist in home tournaments, and assist when necessary in other club activities.
While some individuals may not make the team, all of their information is kept by the President and Coach of the club. These individuals may be contacted in the future if a spot opens up on one of the various squads. Tryouts are held each semester, and all interested students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to tryout as many times as necessary.