By Marissa Willman
At Palm Desert Volleyball Club, founder and coach Dylan Rosman is known as the “yeller coach,” but her no-nonsense approach to coaching girls’ volleyball has led to a 99% success rate of her girls making it onto volleyball teams.
The PDVC started five years ago when Rosman left another club to start her own. From renting middle and high school gyms for a group of about 40 girls, the club has grown to a membership of about 100 girls with a brand new facility in Thousand Palms with two volleyball courts and a swimming pool.
And they take their sport seriously.
“We’re very competitive,” Rosman said. “We’re not there to babysit and we’re not there for social hour. We’re serious about this sport and our girls are going to learn every aspect of volleyball.”
The club focuses on girls ages 8 to 18 who want to play volleyball competitively, though Rosman suggests girls start at 10-years old in order to be able to handle workouts better.
“The club is for girls who are serious about playing volleyball and learning the sport,” Rosman said. “This is for girls who want to go to college and play or are in middle school and want to play in high school.”
At PDVC, girls are expected to attend trainings twice a week, as well as two optional workouts each week. Each age group also competes in tournaments twice a month in Orange County.
“We try to train them a little tougher so they’re prepared for the JV and varsity levels,” Rosman said. “PDVC trains hard and plays to win because it’s the only way girls can be competitive when applying to colleges.”
“It’s important for players and parents to be open-minded,” Rosman said. “We believe that winning is a part of hard work.”
Rosman recommends interested girls and parents come to orientation in October to learn more about the PDVC’s approach and to hear some of their players talk about how they’ve improved.
One player’s improvements in the sport netted her a trip to Europe this month. Alix Dreier, who will attend Xavier College Preparatory High School this fall, is currently in Europe with the Southern California Volleyball Association – High Performance Group preparing for the 8th annual Global European Challenge in Croatia. Dreier is in her second year with the club and at 6’2”, Rosman said Dreier has already attracted the attention of a number of PAC 12 schools. Dreier credits the PDVC and Rosman’s coaching style for her success.
“Dylan’s the one who guided me and showed me how this game is really played,” Dreier said. “She’s definitely the best option in the desert.”
She also said the club’s atmosphere, while competitive, is enjoyable, too.
Rosman said Olivia Mediano, who plays volleyball as a varsity outside hitter at Palm Springs High School, is one of the hardest working athletes she’s ever coached. Mediano joined the PDVC five years ago to play with her cousin.
“It was pretty intense at first because I went from playing non-competitively to here. It’s a lot of hard work but Dylan helps you persevere.”
And while the PDVC likes to win, Mediano said that’s not all the club is about.
“It’s a mentality of not just winning but being part of a team,” Mediano said, adding that the team is like a second family to her.
Xavier Prep student and varsity libero Amanda Bolanos has been with the PDVC since its inception five years ago and describes it as an “incredible experience.”
“Volleyball is a very mental sport and the club has definitely helped with my confidence,” Bolanos said. “I just get better and better with every practice I go to, and I don’t think I would have gotten better without the club.”
In all her 14 years of coaching in the desert, Rosman said she has never seen a libero better than Bolanos.
The volleyball season begins on December 1st and runs through the end of June. Next week, PDVC will host its first clinic in a series of volleyball camps to run this summer. In the fall, PDVC will host middle school camps.
Membership to the PDVC is $285 a month, with a $330 registration fee. The membership fee includes the twice-monthly tournaments. For more information on the upcoming volleyball camp, contact Coach Shawn Patchell at (949) 423-8373. For more information on PDVC, visit pdvolleyballclub.vpweb.com.