Photo courtesy of Luke Beenken

DU now offers a unique experience to college men looking to play competitive volleyball with the creation of the DU Men’s Club Volleyball team. DU men can join the team in the winter and have the opportunity to play competitively across the state and nation, while creating a community of athletic friends with similar passions.

The club participates in tournaments across the state, as well as attending regional and national tournaments, including Las Vegas, Nevada. Well known to DU volleyball and volleyball leadership in the area, Coach Kyle Rhatigan organizes drills and constructive, skill-building practices that will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-11 p.m. for the DU winter quarter. Rhatigan is currently the head coach of both the DU Club Women’s Volleyball team and the Boulder High School team. Rhatigan was a part of the CU Boulder Club Men’s Volleyball team that finished third in the nation when he played collegiate volleyball.

To join the club, DU Men’s Club Volleyball President, Luke Beenken recommends that prospective members come to one of the first winter quarter practices “to see if they would be willing to commit.” If the player feels inclined to join, a club fee of $75 can be paid through the DU Club Sports website.

Players of all skill levels are welcomed as some of the current members have years of competitive volleyball experience under their belt, while others have little to no volleyball experience.

The Men’s Volleyball team plays a variety of local teams including Colorado State University, University of Colorado- Boulder, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, U.S. Air Force Academy and Regis University. Additionally, teams in this conference are required to go to the league’s two regional tournaments. Every year, one of the regional tournaments is hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada. The other tournament rotates between member schools. Previous hosts have been: Grand Junction, Colo., Logan, Utah, Colorado Springs, Colo. and Tempe, Ariz.

This fall quarter, the team has competed in three tournaments hosted by UCCS, CSU and Regis University.

“We see great competition at these tournaments,” Beenken said. “The competitors that we see are the aforementioned local schools, non-school related Denver-area club teams and other schools from as far as Southern Illinois.”

“We anticipate winter quarter to be more of the same,” Beenken added. “We will continue to go to any local tournament that we can. We also plan on arranging scrimmages to give our guys as many competitive matches as we can.”

The goals of the Men’s club team are straightforward. The team aims to focus on meeting the administrative requirements that DU Club Sports require for all teams. “I believe that our officer team is doing a great job of ensuring that we are maintaining communication with our supervisors and meeting their expectations,” Beenken said. “We want to create an environment that will continue to attract players and give us a talented foundation to build upon in the coming Years.”

Additionally, the team aims to provide a social platform for members to interact with like-minded individuals that they normally wouldn’t have the chance to meet outside of our club. “We have a group of guys that have meshed well together and, as a result, are building off-the court friendships with each other,” Beenken said about building community within the players.

The ultimate goal for the team is to build a team that will be competitive at both the local and national levels. Beenken expects the team to compete at the national level by next year.