Setting up for the win

Kaytlynne Deardorf

Photo by Vic Cantu

At 21 years old, Kaytlynne Deardorf already has accomplished quite a lot. She’s taking 18 units this semester at Chico State, where she’s majoring in business administration; she works part-time as a caregiver; and makes extra money with an online clothing store. But that’s not what makes her stand out. Three years ago, she founded Club Oroville Volleyball, for which she also serves as the coach. The club is made up of three teams of girls ages 14-18, who otherwise couldn’t afford to play the sport. The teams travel as far away as Redding, Anderson and Red Bluff as part of the Amateur Athletic Union league. Deardorf’s nonprofit club is gearing up for its 2017 season, and is currently accepting sign-ups and donations. Text or call Deardorf at 776-4034, email, or search for “Club Oroville Volleyball” on Facebook to learn more.

What inspired you to start this club?

I founded it three years ago because many high schools won’t let you on their team if you don’t play the “club” sport, which often charges $1,200 per player. I’ve always loved playing sports and knew coaching would improve my leadership skills. After high school, when I was 18, I actually coached the Las Plumas High girls’ basketball, track and volleyball teams. While there, I discovered they didn’t have a volleyball club team because the girls couldn’t afford it.

It sounds like hard work.

Yes, but it’s worth it. I coach them once a week, and give rides to many of the girls to one to two tournaments a month. I have one helper, but I do all the setting up, taxes and fundraising. I also help them enroll in classes that are required to play on a university volleyball team. It costs me about $600 per girl for gym rental, insurance, travel, equipment, etc. But I only charge each girl $250, or less if they can’t afford it. Whatever we can’t make up for in donations, I pay for myself.

Have you always been business-savvy?

When I was 7 or 8, my dad owned a Christmas tree farm and one of his suppliers said he’d help me make money by selling me as many trees as I wanted for $5 each. I bought a semi-truck full, about $200 worth, and resold them for $75 each! I had saved the money by holding garage sales, selling mistletoe at Walmart, and collecting my parents’ spare change.

What are your goals for Club Oroville Volleyball?

I want to include girls and maybe guys from other middle and high schools, and get a permanent gym for other club sports. Right now, we use the Feather Falls Casino’s gym, but it’s too small to host tournaments. I’d also like to expand to compete in Sacramento, but that would double our fees.

What are your personal goals?

I’d like to finish college, get my master’s, and run my own clothing boutique. I sell a good amount of brand-name clothes online, which is good practice.