In 2015, Dakine Warriors started as three four-day summer camps as a way for Chris Hannemann to rehab from a torn achilles. He started with about 7-10 kids per camp who had some fun learning how to play beach. Those camps quickly morphed into a beach club run by Chris and his wife, Ariana Hannemann. Soon after, many asked them to start an indoor club, so in 2017 they embarked on indoor with 11 teams the first year.
It soon became apparent that if Chris and Ariana wanted to have the flexibility to train their athletes in the way they thought was necessary they really needed a facility. They moved into the Dakine Warriors Sports Center on January 1st, 2016 that includes 3 hard courts and 3 beach courts inside, and 2 outdoor beach courts, and they have been going full speed ahead ever since!
“Our first BVCA National Championships in 2016 Dakine Warriors finished 11th. It was so incredibly exciting for our players and families to travel to Southern California to play beach volleyball and to see and experience first-hand what the event was all about,” shares Director Ariana Hannemann.
Last year, Dakine was ranked as high as #1 nationally on the BVCA national tour. As the largest beach club in the Pacific Northwest they are a consistent top 5 finisher in BVCA Club Challenge events, and to date, Dakine has placed 38 athletes into top Collegiate Beach programs such as USC, Stanford, Grand Canyon and Cal Poly to name a few, plus one 1st Team All-American.
Dakine hosts more juniors beach tournaments year-round in the PNW than any other organization, and is one of a handful of indoor/indoor beach facilities in the country. Today, the club has 36 elite athletes training year round in beach, and will once again top out at 250 athletes in the summer beach regional program.
Dakine experienced similar growth on the indoor side, as the teams continued to improve each year. Today, the club fields 24 indoor teams and has 29 indoor collegiate placements in four years.
“Our focus is on the whole athlete and that is part of why we strongly encourage many of our players to work out both on the hard courts and the beach courts. While the games are very different – the skills are extremely similar. With the continued growth of beach volleyball at an NCAA level it provides opportunities to so many more athletes,” adds Hannemann.
At Dakine the culture of Ohana is taken very seriously. Athletes and coaches work very hard to support one another – not just on the volleyball courts but in life.
“For athletes this means we work very hard with our athletes to ensure that they understand the value of being a great teammate at any level! Education and hard work in the classroom is as much an expectation of being a part of the Dakine Ohana as time put in on the volleyball courts,” shares Hannemann.
Coaches support one another in competition and in practice, and Ariana and Chris work very hard to provide educational opportunities for them through local coaching clinics and seminars. “Whenever we have a guest to Dakine who is an incredible coach we invite all of our coaching staff to come and learn!”
LOVB and Scholarship Foundation
The latest chapter is that Dakine is now a part of the League One Volleyball (LOVB) family. LOVB is based on building a sustainable professional league from the ground up. Dakine is incredibly proud to be one of many junior clubs working with LOVB to build a community of volleyball players from U8 all the way up to National and Olympic team athletes – with the ultimate goal of providing a professional league in the United States.
Dakine prides themselves on their culture. They provide opportunities for all athletes to compete – and they do offer financial aid for families who need a little assist in order for their athlete to play club volleyball. While that looks different for many families they don’t turn away athletes because of financial considerations. With LOVB, Dakine now has a scholarship foundation, and they are actively creating fundraising opportunities to build it in order to help more families based on need. Danielle Scott, 5-time Olympic Athlete, will visit Dakine to run some clinics in May, with all proceeds going towards financial aid for athletes.
“JVA has helped us at many steps along the way with great educational opportunities, competition on the indoor and beach courts and with being a great resource for us to ask questions when they come up,” says Hannemann.
Dakine Volleyball Club (University Place, WA) is a member of the Junior Volleyball Association, an organization committed to enhancing the junior volleyball experience for club directors, coaches, players, and fans.