Right before the start of his junior year at Fountain Valley High School, Orange Coast College kinesiology major Dillon Emery had a 7-inch growth spurt that left him standing 6’4’’ tall.
Emery, 20, used his height to his advantage by playing volleyball throughout his high school years.
After transferring to Orange Coast College, Emery red shirted for the volleyball team last year.
This year Emery is playing for the team and after scoring 21 kills as an opposite in a game against Moorpark, he said this is his best season of volleyball yet.
“This year I was able to be a starter and leader on the team. I think the biggest difference during this year [of volleyball] is that I have matured a lot and that really transcends onto the court,” Emery said.
Coaches have noticed Emery’s skills on the court as well.
“Dillon is absolutely carrying the team right now. More importantly, he’s a really nice kid and he has been serving really well,” Travis Turner, OCC head volleyball coach said.
Emery’s maturity has followed him outside of the court, and he is preparing to transfer in the fall.
Emery said he wants to stay local and that Cal State Long Beach is one of his top transfer choices.
If Emery does go to Cal State Long Beach, he will be joining his older brother who played club volleyball for one year and is now studying to become a teacher.
Although Emery wants to stay local, he said he is considering attending the University of Hawaii.
“I have done a couple meet and greets with the University of Hawaii, nothing too serious but I have always wanted to go to Hawaii,” Emery said.
Emery’s goals for the future include either becoming a personal trainer at a school or working with people that have disabilities.
For now, Emery works at Bounce U, a warehouse filled with bounce houses.
“Kids come in [to Bounce U] for their birthdays, eat pizza and jump in the bounce houses. I get them all tired and send them home,” Emery said.
The part of his job that he enjoys the most is working with kids.
During the summer of 2009 and 2010 Emery was an assistant coach for Fountain Valley High School’s club team.
Emery’s favorite part of coaching was motivating the players, he said.
Teammates agreed that Emery’s passion for the sport and persistence is easy to see.
“Dillon is a great teammate. He’s a guy you know is going to battle with you on the court and he’s not going to give up,” Michael Ensign, 21, the Pirate’s starting setter, said. “He is someone you can depend on.”