The story of UNRL Athlete and professional beach volleyball player Avery Drost is one of faith, family, and a passionate community that thrives on the sport of beach volleyball.
Drost grew up in Redland, California, 81 miles from the place he now calls home in Manhattan Beach. While attending Westmont College in Santa Barbara and playing on their indoor volleyball team, Avery fell in love with the game outdoors. A typical day in college for Avery consisted of indoor practice followed by more time playing on the beach. Day after day, the same group of guys would show up on the beach to hone their skills. Drost learned a lot from those days, and he even got the chance to practice with Olympians right there on the beach in Santa Barbara. He quickly discovered that this sport, played outside in the sand, is what he wanted to pursue.
After college, Drost was invited to train with the U.S. National Development program and moved out to Manhattan Beach—the mecca of beach volleyball. He practiced every day on the beach in Manhattan until his first pro tour event in 2010, and he hasn’t looked back since. Drost is now part of the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) Tour, which is the largest and most competitive tour in the country. Through dedication, Drost is chasing down his dreams.
During the first three years of Avery’s time in South Bay he began to coach volleyball In 2013, he began to coach a group of young girls who lived in the community. He grew close to their family and formed a strong connection with the father of the family, Clint Clausen. As their relationship grew, Avery viewed Clausen as his mentor—someone he could turn to at any time for any reason.
Over the years, Avery and his wife Alyson formed a strong relationship with the girls and their entire family. The Clausen had become extremely close family friends to Avery and Aly.
Then, on January 21st, 2013, tragedy struck the Manhattan Beach community. Clausen had passed away unexpectedly. The entire community was in shock.
Since his passing, Avery and Alyson have done their best to step in and fill the void for the girls, who have become like family to them. Drost is thankful for the sport of beach volleyball because it has given him a chance to influence so many lives, especially the Clausen family.
Faith is first and foremost to Avery and Alyson, and they believe that God brought them to South Bay and into beach volleyball for a reason. Avery’s ultimate goal is to is to continue living out his passion on the beach and providing the kids with the same opportunity.
Today, Drost continues to devote much of his life to beach volleyball. Five days a week, he trains with his partner and coach on the beach first thing in the morning. He spends afternoons working with a strength coach, and by evening he’s back on the beach—but this time he’s coaching. Whether it’s club, high school, private or youth, it’s all for the kids. The sport of beach volleyball is exploding in the community and there is a need for coaches. Drost’s life away from playing professionally is centered around the community, and he saw opportunities to give back through helping young players.
While playing and coaching the sport he loves, Avery Drost has exemplified what it means to be a role model in his community, leading him to fulfill his dreams. We salute his character and aspire to uphold the same values at UNRL, one day at a time.